Many business owners have a really hard time letting their assistant handle various tasks. This is because many business owners have the feeling that if they let their assistant do things they will lose control. Additionally, they feel like no one can do “it,” whatever “it” is, as well as they can. But, most of the time the truth is if you’ve hired the right assistant they can do it as well as or even better than you can if you let them.
1. Define the Tasks – Be clear about the tasks that you want done and the results you expect up front so that your assistant doesn’t have to ask you too many questions throughout each day. They need to be able to make some decisions on their own or else there is no point in having an assistant.
2. Focus on Deliverables – Instead of worrying about the process and how someone does something, create checklists based off deliverables for every project that you’re involved in so that you can provide some guidance without micromanaging.
3. Hire the Right Assistant – Interview assistants based the type of projects you do so that you will know up front what you want them to do. That will help you hire people with the right expertise so you’ll feel confident turning over things to your assistant.
4. Use a Project Management System – There are many different project management systems such as Basecamp.com, Asana.com and others. It’s imperative that you and your assistant use something like that and not rely on email to keep track of the things that are to be done each day, week and month.
5. Set Milestones and Deadlines – Within the project management system and in concert with your assistant, set milestones and deadlines based on the expectations of what you want them to do. If you turn over work to your assistant that they automatically do each month without too much input for you, so much the better.
6. Check in Regularly – You don’t want to bother each other too often but you can check in for five minutes each morning or once a week; whatever works for you. It will make you feel better and make your assistant more confident to have regular contact with you so that they know what is going on.
7. Provide Adequate Support – Whether it’s a budget to work with, or access to software that makes their job easier, it’s important to provide them with what they need. If you want someone to be your true assistant, they’ll need access to the things you have access to in order to better help you.
8. Motivate and Reward – Provide feedback on a regular basis to your assistant, including positive feedback. That is a good way to motivate and reward him or her. The happier an assistant is, and the more secure they feel within their position with your business, the harder they’ll work on your behalf.
Finally, it’s important to let go of perfection and allow people who are experts in what they do, do what it is that they do. You can’t do everything. No successful CEO does. In fact, most successful CEOs mostly do nothing but delegate tasks to the smart, capable experts that they hired.