In this episode, Peter Mohr talks with Jamie van Cuyk, small business consultant and recruiting coach. People are your deciding factor in the success of your business — yet they can also be a huge source of headaches. A talented team is only as strong as its accountability, but if you're reluctant to delegate tasks or invest in team collaboration, you could end up spinning your wheels. As Pete and Jamie discuss, the right people can transform your enterprise from frustrating to freeing. Even after you find your ideal team, you must know how to delegate tasks and assign responsibility in a way that best suits your business's goals. Tune in with Pete and Jamie as they share their insights on team development, executive decision-making, and how to delegate with confidence.
0:58 The Great Resignation as an opportunity
1:45 Decisions as the burden on CEOs and business owners
3:19 The tension between delegation and accountability
4:30 How can control freaks let go and delegate with confidence?
9:10 Choosing the tasks to delegate
11:15 Elevating our teams to diversify and optimize our workload
14:36 The importance of project management
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Jamie van Cuyk 00:00
They're gonna go through their thought process for that decision, you go through your thought process for the decision. And before that decision is actually made or implemented. You talk about it. Yeah, you came to a different conclusion, why did you come to a different conclusion which one is better? Which one is right? And as a business owner, recognizing that, just because it's your idea doesn't mean it's right, you actually think about what's best for the business and let other people bring their ideas to the table. And then you talk about that, depending on what it is, it might be a few times of you guys working that kind of in tandem. And then you allow them say, Okay, I want you to go and you're gonna do everything, you're gonna present it to me before you implement, they get your sign off. And then after that few times, you're like, Okay, you really got this, you're really thinking what's best for the business, best for the department, you go and do it. And then just give me a recap afterwards. So you build up your level of trust in that team member, because you're going through the process with them.
Pete Mohr 00:58
hiring great people is such an issue these days with so many businesses, and that's why I came up with a new one page sheet around hiring. And it's called the candidate evaluation. And it kind of goes through your particular candidate with the lens of capability, capacity, confidence, and culture. If you'd like to download a copy of the one page candidate evaluation, just go to simplifying entrepreneurship.com forward slash candidate. Welcome to another edition of the simplifying entrepreneurship podcast, helping you cut through the chaos of running a business and transforming your frustrations into freedoms. After all, you own your business, and it shouldn't own you. And today, I had the opportunity to speak with Jamie van cake. And Jamie owns a business called Growing your team and going to talk all around one of the five P's today and its people it's one of the most important pieces of the puzzle to give you back your freedom as an entrepreneur. When you have your people aligned and everything is running smoothly, Life couldn't be better. And when you don't, it couldn't be worse. Today, we're going to talk about delegation, how can even a control freak learn to let go into delegate and some of the best tasks that you can start delegating, and also this idea around how to monitor once you've delegated something, how can you monitor it as the leader and once you've actually handed it off? Then how do you monitor? How do you make sure that things are going along the way that you want them to and clearing up the communication around that is such a vital piece. So let's dig into it with Jamie van cake. Jamie van kick, it's a pleasure to have you here on the simplifying entrepreneurship podcast today.
Jamie van Cuyk 02:54
Thank you, Pete so much for having me. Yeah,
Pete Mohr 02:57
I'm really interested to have this conversation with you today all around effective people management.
Jamie van Cuyk 03:03
Yes, I'm so excited about it, you know, it people are one of those things that does bring you that stress relief and brings you a different type of stress as well in your business. But for me, it's it's one of the most exciting things, I love the people aspect of business. And it's really why I'm focusing on this, like I focusing on people, it has always been at my core, all the
Pete Mohr 03:25
talk these days, as we're recording around the great resignation. And, you know, I look at the great resignation, not as an issue as much as an opportunity. And if you have everything in alignment with your business, it's a real opportunity to attract the right fits to attract the right cultural fits to your team. And, you know, the small business owners there, they've been making the decisions for the last three 510 years, you know, they're still the predominant decision maker, not only in the big decisions, but often in the middle level and the small level decisions. And my philosophy around this is that all decisions should be made at the lowest possible level of the organization. What's your thought on that?
Jamie van Cuyk 04:08
Yes, and I love how you put the lowest possible level the organization, we're not saying give the big decisions to your individual contributors that are the lowest rung on the ladder. It's where should those decisions be made? And then you being informed of the decision. And sometimes you're being brought into the conversation, but you're not really that final decision maker, you're kind of giving a little bit of a say, so that person can make the right decision. Or, you know, sometimes you do have to sign off that decision is going to have a financial implication and you need to sign off on Yes, I agree to spend this money, but the other person should be making that decision. I was actually just speaking with someone earlier today where they're running an IT department in a company and they came and said, Here's what needs to get done. And then the CEO was like, Okay, thanks. We're gonna do this other thing that's completely against it, but then you have to implement it and run it. And they're like, alright, well, I don't know how this is gonna work out. But this wasn't even what I wanted to do. It's not even what I think is right for the departments. But because they weren't allowed to make the final decision. And the CEO did, there's now that conflict that's there.
Pete Mohr 05:15
It's an interesting thing, and I don't know your client. But from that perspective, maybe that client hasn't allowed delegation to truly happen. You know, you look at the accountability chart, and somebody's name is on that box. But if they don't actually have the decision making capabilities, then are they truly accountable?
Jamie van Cuyk 05:34
No, they're not. And, uh, yeah, and it's one of those things I think happens so often in businesses, because when you're smaller, and you're running that business, it makes sense for you to be the decision maker, because you're really the head of everything, you have a small team. But as you continue to grow, you have to get those decisions off your plate as the business owner, because it takes too much of your time to be that decision maker, and you're hiring people for their expertise, that then should own those decisions, because that is their area of expertise.
Pete Mohr 06:04
Business owners get into this, I'll call it a rut, because I actually think it's a bit of a rut, where they are making all these decisions. And they are feeling as though they've had to do this they Well, one thing is they've had to do it, right, they've had to make the decisions. But once you start building this team, you know, how can control freaks actually let go and delegate like what gets them through and what helps them with that.
Jamie van Cuyk 06:26
So the first thing to remember is, if you if you really identify as that control freak that doesn't want to delegate is, just remember, you don't have to hand over the keys to the business on day one. And chances are, you've already been doing that you haven't delegated everything yet, but you most likely have a team that is doing some of the work. And you've been slowly getting things off your plates, you've been allowing people all along to do things for you. Now you need to let go of some of those higher level things. So just remember, it's not an all or nothing you're jumping in, you're giving everything away on day one, you can get there, it's that step by step thing to get the right things off your plate. And then once you're ready to delegate higher level tasks, it's still not okay, I'm gonna give this task away to this person, they now own it day one, there we go, I'm wiping my hands with it, I'm done. You can have this structure where you're slowly transitioning it to that person. So that way, they are learning what it means to make the right decisions and everything and do the right actions, and you're learning to trust them. So it's kind of like one of those things with training, it's kind of like you do it, and you kind of show them. So maybe you're walking them through the decision making process. This was a decision that was made. Here's how I went and made made that decision. The next time it might be that they're gonna go through their thought process for that decision, you go through your thought process for the decision, and before that decision is actually made or implemented. You talk about it? Yeah, you came to a different conclusion, why did you come to a different conclusion, which one is better? Which one is right? And as a business owner, recognizing that, just because it's your idea doesn't mean it's right, you actually think about what's best for the business and let other people bring their ideas to the table. And then you talk about that, depending on what it is, and might be a few times of you guys working that kind of in tandem. And then you allow them say, Okay, I want you to go and you're gonna do everything, you're gonna present it to me before you implement, they get your sign off. And then after that few times, you're like, Okay, you really got this, you're really thinking what's best for the business, best for the department, you go and do it. And then just give me a recap afterwards. So you build up your level of trust in that team member, because you're going through the process with them.
Pete Mohr 08:44
They're like levels of delegation, right? Yes,
Jamie van Cuyk 08:47
that level of delegation and training really works for all positions you bring into the organization, you're not just going to be like, hey, they would go and do it, you're going to train them, you're going to teach them you're going to help them see what your expectations are, you're going to help them understand what works and what doesn't work based on the information that you have, that you haven't given to them yet. You
Pete Mohr 09:09
know, I think having those conversations back and forth until they truly know exactly what's the expectation and have the full clarity, they're not going to have the confidence, right. And that's the leaders job as opposed to making this decision. It's more sort of about this idea of, you know, helping them with their confidence, giving them the clarity so that they can have the momentum to go ahead and make the decision. Right. And
Jamie van Cuyk 09:33
that's one of those things like sometimes people will think I hired an expert, they should know what to do. So this person, let's say was a director of operations in a different company. So they should be able to come in and immediately be an amazing director of operations for my company, but they don't know yet how things function in your company. They don't know yet what's going to make you happy. And if you don't tell them, one of the things I always say is if you don't set the expectations for your employees, they'll set the expectation themselves and normally will not match what you want. So if you don't tell them, what's going to make you happy, how you want things delivered, what the goals are, they're going to make do that on their own. And then you're going to feel like they're not doing their job. They're not doing what I want them to do. Why are they on the team? I must have made a poor hiring decision. And it wasn't that it was a poor hiring decision. It was a poor training, it was that onboarding to teach them what was needed to do that role. Well, inside your company.
Pete Mohr 10:27
Exactly. When we look at some of the stuff, Jamie around delegation, and for somebody who's not great at delegating, they know who they are. We know ourselves as leaders, right? And it's like, if you're looking to start delegating, where do you start? What are some of the tasks that you can start unloading and start letting go? This episode of the simplifying entrepreneurship podcast is brought to you by utopia.ca. We're always helping our clients look great and feel fantastic with the heat, you can free your feet with some of the awesome sandals from names you know and love. Like Birkenstock keen and Mephisto Of course, we have you covered for the casual athletic needs to guests like you are at the very heart of shoe topia, stop in for a visit or drop in on shoe topia.ca. We're currently only shipping to Canadian addresses.
Jamie van Cuyk 11:26
So I want you to look at the list of what you're doing throughout your day or throughout your week and start asking yourself, does this have to be done by me? Or does it have to be done right? And if it doesn't have to be done by you, if it's not really one of those things that a CEO would own in a business? Those are the areas where you can start delegating, and once you really figure out, okay, what should I eventually get off my plate, because it's not necessarily a CEO task, it doesn't need to be done by me, then you can start prioritizing those items to say what's gonna give me the biggest bang for my buck to get it off my plate today, versus holding on to it. And so I'll give you an example. In my business, we do a lot of full service recruiting. So we'll interview client, or we'll interview candidates for our clients, review a lot of resumes and everything. And I already had a team member that was helping on the back end review, resume scheduled interviews, but I was still doing all the interviews. And as I was like, I want to continue growing my business, I need to spend more time on lead generation, I need to spend more time in marketing talking to potential clients. But I was like, Alright, I'm gonna help have someone help me with the marketing. So I get more leads in the door. And then I looked at my calendar, I was like, When am I going to fit these, these conversations, because I'm so busy doing the interviewing. And that's when I realized, instead of at first hiring someone for the marketing, I needed to hire someone to actually do the recruiting. So they were going to take over doing those interviews, and writing the notes for our clients and all that work. So that way I could focus on growing the business, because growing the business was the CEO tasks that I needed to focus on actually doing the client work was not the CEO task that I needed to be doing at that moment in time.
Pete Mohr 13:05
Yeah, yeah. I love that explanation. And I think it's a great one, you know, we're all doing things that we should let go and move on to elevate. And we have to do that for our teams to as leaders, right? We want them to elevate so that their sort of other jobs can be taken over by other people as well. That's the natural progression that happens within growing businesses. Right, Jamie?
Jamie van Cuyk 13:30
Yeah, and I think that's so important what you said, because as your business grows, typically, the role that you first developed and gave to an employee is going to change, and they can't keep doing everything, because now they're doing everything, all those same tasks at a larger volume. So eventually, that role that you hired for has to be split out into multiple roles. So what does that look like? You know, do you have different levels? So this person's doing the higher level and you hire someone more junior? Do you hire pretty much kind of a second in that role? So you split out the work, say, okay, this person focuses on this territory, and this person focuses on this territory, it's recognizing that even within your team members, eventually things need to be delegated from one team member to a new team member.
Pete Mohr 14:14
Yeah. And, you know, I've got a framework that I use around this, and it's called Love it or leave it and this whole idea of, you know, work in the area that you really love, and let the rest go and assign accountability around that. And it's just it's very similar, sort of, to what you're chatting about here today. But once you let something go, and you assign accountability, how do you monitor the progress of that?
Jamie van Cuyk 14:38
Yeah, but before we get to that, I just want to challenge you to challenge the audience with that, love it or leave it. Yeah, there's a comes a point where you have to decide what type of business you want. And if you want to be the CEO and the lead of your business, because I've worked with a bunch of clients that they don't want to give up the work that they love, and sometimes that keeps them in the client facing work. And they're like, I'm so overwhelmed. How do I do this? The client facing work is where I always run to, but it's what I love. And eventually you have, you have to ask yourself the question, do I really want to scale my business password is today? Or am I okay? Where it is, because it allows me to continue focusing on that client facing work and serving the clients and doing whatever that stuff is because you love it. And if you really love it so much that you don't want to give it up, then you have to make the decision to build a business around you being able to do that work. And maybe that means you bring in someone else to fill that CEO title. And you're not, you're the owner of the business, but you're not doing that CEO function. So you can do that client work, or it means, okay, you're not going to grow much larger. So you can do the CEO work and the client facing work. Or you need to let go of that work that you love serving the clients. Because you really want to be the CEO, and you want to take this business to a much bigger and higher level. So you do have to ask yourself that when you're going through that question of do you love it? Or you're gonna delegate it or leave it to someone else? Just figure out what type of business do you want to be creating?
Pete Mohr 16:04
I couldn't agree more. Yeah, I think that's a vital piece of growth. And if you even want growth, you mentioned that too. Like, there are some people that are at a certain stage that they don't actually want more growth. And that's okay. Right. That's the beauty of being an entrepreneur, you can make the choices. You own the business, right?
Jamie van Cuyk 16:21
Yes, yes, you do. But yeah, let's get now into your question about monitoring the progress and everything. The the number one I think thing I think is needed across all businesses is some sort of project management platform, some sort of workflow tool that helps you self serve, when you need answers. Some way to self serve, is one of the ways to really monitor that progress. And you're not doing it kind of in a micromanaging way where you're like, Okay, I need to, like, you know, peek at everything, and I need to control what they're doing. But you don't want to disrupt your employees work, because you need an update. And maybe you need an update. Because you're getting ready to jump on a call with the clients, you're ready to do something where you need those updates. But so to be able to self serve, instead of taking your time to ask for the update and your employees time to give you the update, and disrupt their thought process in order to give it to you. So some sort of project management client workflow tool is essential to really be monitoring the progress. The other thing that you need is check ins with your team members. I'm a big fan, especially if you have larger teams, multiple people working on a project, or they're doing very similar things, having daily huddles or huddles every other day. So that way, you guys can talk about what's going on. And the beauty about if you have those project management tools, you kind of already know the status going into those meetings. So then you can ask, I see that this project is still in the status. Tell me about what's going on? Are you experiencing roadblocks? You know, is it what's taking it longer to move to that next phase than the normal project? And you have access to that information? So you're asking questions about what's going on, instead of just saying, Alright, give me an update on everything. Because I'm clueless. I don't know what's going on.
Pete Mohr 18:07
Yeah, I love that. And we certainly use those as well, I think they're such a vital piece of communication. And people that are listening to this are the leaders of their business. And your job as the as the leader of the business is to make sure that communication continues to flow so that everybody knows and the clarity around that. And I love this idea of project management tools such a vital piece. Well, thanks so much, Jamie, for sharing your wisdom with us here today. It's been great going through delegation, such a vital piece of the organization with people and growth. And I want just before we hop off here, we'd like you to let everybody know how they can get a hold of you and learn a little bit more about growing your team.
Jamie van Cuyk 18:50
Yes, thank you, Pete. It's been a great conversation. So far, I've been really enjoying it. So if you want to learn more about myself for growing your team, you can head on over to growing your team.com. We also have the growing your team podcast. So you can tune into that weekly where we talk about hiring and leading teams within small businesses. One of the things I have for your listeners if they are ready to hire and really want to figure out okay, what is the right process, especially if you're hiring for a position that's new to your organization? I have the hiring checklist that brings you through the eight steps that you need to go through when you're hiring and your listeners can go and download that at growing your team.com/simplify
Pete Mohr 19:34
Awesome. Well, that is great. And a great little takeaway too. So thanks again, Jamie for being a part of the simplifying entrepreneurship podcast with me here today.
Jamie van Cuyk 19:42
Thank you, Pete.
Pete Mohr 19:47
I think there was lots to take away today around your people and delegation with Jamie here. Think about how you can apply some of the things that she talked about this idea that if you've been making all Have the decisions for a long time, or maybe you've started delegating, but how can you delegate even more to free up your time, your team actually wants accountability. They want to make decisions. And that's another thing that we didn't really talk about too much in our conversation. But a lot of times they actually want to make the choices and decisions for the good of the business. And maybe it's you not letting them do that is one of the hold backs. So think about that, too. What else can you delegate, assess it, address it and assign it I think is, you know, three a words. I like to put things in a words and P words and M words, but three a words you can assess it, address it and assign it along the way. And what can you start by tomorrow, you know, what's the next thing that you can do, and delegate and free yourself up and give the accountability to somebody else. And when you do that, don't forget the next step. If they don't have any time on their plate, then you need to help them as a leader assigned something off of their plate so that they can free you up of your time. It works in succession down this, you know your accountability chart and remember this other phrase around the idea that you need to let decisions happen at the lowest possible level of your organization in order to have everybody in the organization freed up as much as they can be to make the highest level decisions in their given area of expertise. So wonderful conversation today. Really enjoyed my time with Jamie hope you did too. If you liked it, please share it with a friend. It's one of the things that you can do to help this podcast survive and thrive as well. In order to connect with me slide on over to LinkedIn at Pete Moore, and you'll find me there. Until next time, make it a great day
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