The 3 Secret Steps to Successful Delegation

by Randy Chertkow and Jason Feehan

File Under: Networking and Building Your Team

As always, we get a ton of great questions from musicians after we speak. And last night’s Grammy Association's Music Business Summit in Austin, Texas was no exception. One of the questions we got after our talk was from a musician who was struggling with how he could balance making the music with handling the business tasks we discussed at our talk. He asked for our advice.

After getting to understand his situation, the answer was he needed to delegate. At some point, if you want to grow your music business, you will need help from others. There will be some tasks you’ll need to offload so you can focus on other activities. Without delegation to people you can trust, you’ll be swamped and end up standing in place rather than moving forward.

But not everyone knows how best to delegate. So, we shared with him advice we got from Derek Sivers, the founder of CDBaby and entrepreneur, from when we interviewed him for our books.

Follow these three steps to ensure you not only delegate work correctly, but do so in a way where you set yourself up -- and whoever is helping you -- for success.

1. Be hyper-detailed about the steps.

Derek advised that you should be hyper-detailed about the work you want the person to do. This means writing out all the steps in an email or on paper. The more detailed the recipe you give your delegate, the more likely it’ll get done. It not only helps make it clear what you need them to do so they can run with it, but it also makes it easier for you to hand the same task off to another person in the future.

2. Set close checkpoints and have them report back.

Rather than tell them what to do and then wait for them to come back to you whenever they finish the work, you should set up checkpoints along the way to ensure the person is on the right track. Plus, it’ll give you a chance to make sure your instructions are clear and actionable. That way if anything is off, you can set it straight quickly without losing too much time or energy or frustrating the person helping you.

3. Assume “some people will flake" and build in redundancy.

Successful delegation is about not putting all your eggs in one basket -- especially if the job is something important like booking gigs or getting your music played on college radio or streaming music stations. People are people and sometimes they end up letting you down. Because of this fact of life, Derek suggests building redundancy into the process. Why not have two people work on booking or on the college radio or streaming music station campaign together? Just make sure those on the task coordinate with one another so they don’t get in on another’s way.

Successful music businesses have a team rather than rely on one individual to do it all themselves. There’s a reason why there’s a long list of credits at the end of every movie or television show. It’s just not as explicit with music, but they’re still using teams to create quality music and handle the business activities. The time to start building your own team is now and use the delegation steps to effectively work together to build your music business.


#yourteam #delegation #management

Photo Credit: tableatny

Reader Poll

Are you a gear DIY-er?

See results without voting »