Business Owner Breakthrough Podcast

The Four Levels of Delegation

October 03, 2023 Pete Mohr Season 4 Episode 38
Business Owner Breakthrough Podcast
The Four Levels of Delegation
Show Notes Transcript

In this episode, Pete Mohr dives deep into the art of delegation, a skill that can make or break your business. Think of your business like an airplane. You can be the pilot, co-pilot, or even put it on autopilot. The key is knowing when to switch roles. Pete shares his own experiences as a shoe store owner to illustrate how delegation evolves as your business grows. If you're stuck doing everything and want to move from detail to dashboard, this episode is your roadmap.

Here are a few things Pete covers:

  • The Four Levels of Delegation: Pilot, Co-Pilot, Auto-Pilot, and Handoff
  • The importance of clear processes and communication
  • The 80/20 rule in delegation
  • How to instill confidence and accountability in your team
  • The ultimate goal: Handing over the controls

It’s time to take action:

Stop micromanaging and start empowering your team. Your first step towards freedom is to evaluate where you are on the delegation journey. Are you the pilot, co-pilot, or are you ready for autopilot? Once you know, you can start to make the shift. Book a free appointment with Pete at to get personalized guidance.

Are you looking to make some changes in your business and your life in 2024?  Head over to and book a chat with me to see if we're the right fit!

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Pete Mohr:

Well, today I've got a topic that could be a game changer for you. It's called the four levels of delegation. And if you're feeling stuck in the day to day and you want to elevate your role from operator to owner, then this episode is for you and think about the chain of command on an airplane. You have your pilot, you have your copilot, you have autopilot, you know, all of these things are how the operations of the plane works, so that you get to your destination, safely. And that's how we're going to look at today's conversation as well. So let's jump in right with level one, which I call the pilot mode. And imagine you're in the cockpit of the plane, you're calling all the shots, every single detail, you're on it, you're in full control, and require everyone to follow your direction to the tee, because if they don't, there could be some dire consequences, right. So we need that chain of control to be in effect all of the time. For example, let's say like me, you're a shoe store owner, because most of you know I'm a shoe store owner, we'll just use my business for an example. You spend your days directing how everything should be done in your store, each hour of the store is open, your team relies upon you for almost all decisions and for the direction on what and how often when you start up a business or something new within your business, a new section or segment, it involves the step of delegation as there's little process in place. And usually the vision is only captured in the owners own mind until the vision is clarified, communicated, so that processes can be formulated, and people can follow them with confidence, right with your confidence as the leader, it's hard to move past this pilot stage of delegation. And, quite honestly, it's one that I see so often with my coaching clients, and that they just can't get past, letting somebody else own any piece of certain puzzles within their business, right, you have to use the pilot mode sparingly, it's not sustainable in the long run, and it can wear you out, it can burn you out, it can cause other members who are really interested in doing more for you to leave, there are so many issues around staying in the pilot mode of delegation where you're controlling everything, and you have your fingers on every single little piece of the business. Most of all, it's also a stop to your freedom, and potentially a stop to your future growth and the growth of the business right and the growth of your team too. So moving on to level two, we have what I like to call the co pilot, you're still in control here, but you're letting your team navigate a little bit. They come to you with options, and you make the final call. There's some process in place, but you really haven't released the full accountability. So think about the 8020 rule where you know, they're starting to do about 80% of whatever it is that you need done. But you're still tackling that 20%. You know, for the retail owner example, think about inventory. Instead of doing it all yourself, you ask your team to assess what's low, and come to you with a list of items that they think maybe you need to get, well you get that list and you approve and adjust the order yourself. So they're doing 80% of the data collection, but you're actually doing that final 20% as you move from the detail of everything to the dashboard of everything, right? The co pilot mode is a great way to include in advance your team. It'll allow them to better understand the why of what you're doing and what they're doing within their jobs. It really instills more interest, more loyalty, and more confidence within your team. You know, remember, if they align with your promise, they'll want to make decisions and be accountable within your organization. Your team wants to make decisions for you. And you know, for you, that's the first step towards freedom. Next step is level three, and it's the auto pilot mode. This is where you start to see real freedom. You trust your team to handle things because your processes are good, but they're still within defined boundaries, right? For instance, you've got a sale coming up at your store. You give your team the guidelines, say 20% off all seasonal items, and let them get it all set up. They choose which items to mark down and arrange the sale displays without needing your constant input because you've got process in place. They know what it looks like. You've got pictures, but images, you've got videos on previous sales so they get the idea. Now you're saying hey, go do this and do it within certain parameters. The big tip here is to make sure your team knows the goals and the boundaries. Not like discounting all new arrivals. We talked about discounting seasonal I So right, so all of the things, those are the boundaries that you can work on with them as the leader, and then let them go to it on autopilot, right. This way they can operate effectively without you micromanaging. The autopilot mode is when you have effectively moved from detail to dashboard, you're really looking at the bigger picture and someone else is essentially looking after the details. And you're managing at the dashboard level with the key performance indicators. And the upper level conversations with your team around the accountability and sort of what the best case and worst case scenarios are, whatever it is, you're trying to hand off as far as accountability. Finally, we arrive at level four, which is the handoff of the captain's chair. And this is the ultimate level of delegation where you're handing the keys over. Essentially, your team members will be in charge steering the ship, and in this case, the store on their own if they're the store manager, right? Imagine your store manager running the entire holiday season's promotions, from planning to execution. They handle any seasonal issues that arise. They handle everything without needing your input. Essentially, this is handing over the keys to the store. And that's your special milestone, you're handing over controls and letting them sit in the captain's chair, steering that airplane to wherever it may go. Because you have the confidence. You've been through this before. They have the process. They have the tools, they have the capabilities, and you have the confidence that they are at the point where they can take this maybe even further than you ever have in your past. So where are you on this delegation journey. If you're stuck in the cockpit, every single day and you want to enjoy a bit more freedom? Well, I can help. let's align your goals. Get you the freedom that you deserve as a business owner, all you have to do is head over to speak to That's speak to and book in a free appointment with me to see if we're right fit. And we can start getting you on that path from detail to dashboard and to provide you with even more freedom. So thanks for tuning in. Let's remember the sky is the limit when you delegate wisely. Now go and make it a great day.

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