5 Ways a Superstar EA
Will Change Your Life

If you’re a business owner or leader and you’re not yet delegating the responsibilities below, these will change your life each moment, every day.

In case you’re wondering why not all business owners already delegate these things, I – myself – resisted delegating these for way too long. And, like hundreds of business owners I’ve known, I kept hitting the ceiling. Having run many businesses, what has kept me stuck is always myself… specifically, operating with a model that doesn’t work.

Who, not how

One of these models is a mental model that it’s I (me, myself) who should figure out how to do something. In Who, Not How, Dan Sullivan explains there’s likely someone out there who can do it with less stress, more scale and less cost, than we getting it done ourselves.

Buy Back Your Time

A second mental model is that by letting go of a responsibility, I’ll be giving up control. Our tendency as business owners to resist giving up control and delegating. A different way of looking at delegation, though, is that it enables us to buy back our time. For any business owner whose time is worth more than $25/hour, which is just about all of us, delegating makes sense.

Having coached hundreds of business owners, here – in order – are the most life changing delegations I’ve observed.

1. Manage your email inbox

Consider how much of your workload likely involves reviewing incoming messages, drafting replies and ensuring your top-priority emails get answered promptly.

EmailAnalytics and Adobe found the average CEO spends 2-5 hours per day handling emails. Another study showed we check our emails 50 times per day.

If email is a weapon, this is where that weapon becomes dangerous! As David Allen says, your power is proportioned to your ability to focus… to avoid distraction. For many of us, email is a huge distraction. CEOs who delegate email management free up time to do more of what they love and are great at. They also often find that their email gets handled even better because:

2. Set up & Manage KPIs

A dashboard with your key performance indicators (KPIs) is like the dashboard of your car: it shows you what you need to know at a glance – will you run out of gas? Are you 20 mph over the speed limit?

At Helm, we train our support staff on setting up a dashboard (one tutorial, if you’re curious, is here). If you’re like many business owners, you’re flying blind. You work hard… your team works hard… but you may not be capturing data on the metrics that reflect the success or health of your business.

An Executive Assistant (“EA”) trained on this tool can help you identify these metrics, set weekly targets and track your actual performance. This way, just like a driver riding over the rumble strips of a road before he’s about to veer off course, you can catch yourself when the data tells you that you’re missing your target.

3. Manage your calendar

As the head of your business, scheduling and rescheduling meetings consumes time and energy, and requires frequent monitoring of your communication platforms, which blocks you from focusing on what matters most. A well-trained EA can save you 2-4 hours a week on this. This, however, is just the start.

Your EA will also help you:

4. Manage key projects

Your EA can help you execute projects, but actually quite a bit more.

Build a culture of accountability – Your EA can meet with key individuals or groups to enroll them in a project management software such as Asana or Monday. Once projects are online, tasks will be visible to managers, and check-ins for accountability are easy.

Drive your vision – Your EA can help managers and teams set goals that support your vision. For example, once you (and, potentially, your leadership team) crystallize the company’s goals, your EA can guide people throughout the company on setting goals that are aligned. (To hear more about how this can be done with quarterly goals, click here).

5. Travel planning

Until you’ve delegated travel planning, it’s easy to take for granted the amount of time this demands from you. A strong EA will record your preferences and free you from the low level travel planning tasks that are definitely not your highest use of time:

This is every bit as valuable with personal travel, since many of us travel less than we’d like to simply because of the friction and time demands of traveling right. Weekend jaunts and other travel options magically start to avail themselves. Once you delegate the planning, you can sink into the sweetness of your travels and free yourself.

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