The other side of putting your faith in the service of others is delegation or leverage. The fact is, there is only so much we can do by ourselves. Given that we all have the same 60 minutes in each hour and the same 24 hours in each day, then how do we account for some people getting so much done and others so little? The answer is that they buy time.
They do this by delegating tasks to others, or they leverage themselves by asking others to duplicate their efforts entirely, thereby multiplying their accomplishments. The success of this time purchase relies on putting your faith in the service of others. If you don’t believe another person can do a given task or do what you do, then your efforts at getting more done are doomed.
I was the worst at delegation. I was a proponent of the old phrase, “If you want something done right, do it yourself.” I couldn’t let go, and, as a result, I was limited in what I could accomplish. JoAnn was better than me, but there were things she couldn’t let go of. We did everything and almost ran ourselves into the ground. After three years in the business, we were exhausted. Today, we do three times the work with one-third the effort. We put our faith in our team and they take care of us.
I’ll never forget when we decided to train our daughter Kelly to go on listing appointments. This seemed to be the last thing we couldn’t let go of. In eight years, we estimated that we had gone to more than 10,000 appointments. We worried that people ...