If you’re like most business owners and small business leaders, you don’t have enough time in the week to tackle all of the issues and responsibilities that demand your attention. I find this is true even of leadership teams who are running on the Entrepreneurial Operating System®. Although they delegate as much as they can offload, it can still be a challenge to free up your time to work on your business.
To help leadership teams discover where they’re wasting their energies, I take them through the EOS Assistance Track™. The Assistance Track helps to refocus how you use your time. Usually, this involves handing off tasks to an assistant who is better suited to do those tasks.
Your Inbox Is Holding You Hostage
One of those tasks is email. A lot of business owners and entrepreneurial leaders struggle with email — the sheer volume of messages keeps them in constant reaction mode, preventing them from elevating their work and doing what they’re best at. So I challenge entrepreneurial teams to ask themselves whether email is the highest and best use of their time.
I recommend that leadership teams offload their email tasks to assistants. Some leaders feel a great sense of relief to have permission to quit email. Others push back, for various reasons:
- Leaders need to keep their fingers on the pulse of the organization.
- They need to be able to respond quickly to issues that pop up.
- They’re skeptical about finding a trustworthy assistant to handle sensitive information, like People Issues.
- It’s quicker to send emails themselves than to rely on someone else.
- They’re afraid to trust that an assistant will handle email responses “the right way.”
When a leader is resists, it’s often because it means giving up control. If you aren’t using email, you feel more removed from things, and you can’t control the flow of information. You aren’t in the center of activity. But it comes with a cost, and you also become stymied and unable to operate out of your Unique Ability®.
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When you delegate something that isn’t the highest and best use of your time, it frees you up to be creative, and it helps you to break through the ceiling — as a company, as a leadership team, and as an individual. If you’re stuck as a leader, you’ll be stuck as a team. If you’re stuck as a team, you’ll be stuck as a company. Delegating email is one of the key things to free you up, get you out of reaction mode, and help you move forward.
I had a client whose leadership team was very skeptical about delegating email tasks to assistants. But the person in charge of sales thought it was a very interesting idea, and he experimented with it for a quarter. He hired an assistant to take over his emails, and he was amazed how much it freed up his time.
At the next Quarterly Session, he sold the other leadership team members into trying it out for a quarter. As a result, the company has grown much more profitable. All that time they would otherwise be spending on email, they are now spending in higher, more valuable areas for the business.
Those results aren’t unusual. In fact, I’ve seen that when leaders successfully implement all five steps of the assistance track, they regularly see a 5x return on investment on hiring the assistant!
Take Your Leadership to the Next Level
When you stop hanging onto the wrong responsibilities, it gives you newfound space to take your company to the next level. Believe it or not, there are amazing assistants out there who would love to manage your email and would be truly great at it. Let email belong to someone else — someone with the Unique Ability to protect your time and free you up.
Need to discover other areas that are holding you back? Ask your EOS Implementer™ to take you through the Assistance Track at your next quarterly session.