As an entrepreneurial leader, you know you need to delegate. In fact, it’s the key to growth but effective delegation isn’t as simple as handing off tasks. Unless you approach it thoughtfully and systematically, your plate will quickly fill back up. Emily Morgan’s new book Let it Go! is a fresh look at delegation that gets to the heart of why we struggle with it.
You’ll learn step by step how to shift your mindset and implement proven techniques to create space for more of what you love. Then, you’ll discover how to scale delegation across your organization, giving your team the permission, autonomy, and tools they need to better leverage their time.
By making this simple shift, you’ll attract and retain great talent while creating limitless potential for business growth as well as master a powerful delegation mindset throughout your organization.
Hey Listeners, my name is Drew Applebaum and I’m excited to be here today with Emily Morgan, author of Let It Go! How to (Finally) Master Delegation and Scale Freedom Across Your Organization. Emily, thank you for joining. Welcome to The Author Hour Podcast.
Emily Morgan: So honored to be here, thank you.
Drew Appelbaum: Emily, help us kick off the podcast. Can you give us a brief rundown of your professional background?
Emily Morgan: Yeah, I am the CEO, founder and visionary for my company, which is Delegate Solutions and we’ve been in business 15 years and we are a delegation company. So we work with traditionally, entrepreneurial leaders and their teams to help them figure out how to finally master delegation. And so I’ve got a lot of experience both as someone that was delegated to, as well as someone that delegates to others and then lastly, as someone that helps people figure out how to get the most out of delegation.
So, coming at it from lots of different angles but have spent the last 15 years in this space really developing our own IP and methodology around how to really get the most out of delegation.
Drew Appelbaum: Now, why was now the time to share the story? Did you have a sudden inspirational moment out there, do you have an “aha moment” or did enough people tell you, you need to write this stuff down and share it with the masses?
Emily Morgan: Yeah. I mean, I’ve been collecting and creating this content over the last many years and so, it just sort of all came together into a book that really felt like there was enough content there to really make an impact for other people who are really struggling with doing this well.
Get the Mindset Right First
Drew Appelbaum: Now, as you mentioned, you’ve been in the business for a long time. When you dug into some of the topics in the book, you know, when you’re actually writing the book itself, doing some more research, just by digging into some of the topics, did you come to have any major breakthroughs or learnings along your writing journey?
Emily Morgan: I did, yeah. The way that I set the book up is in three segments. The first part of the book is all about mindset and then part two is about technique and part three is about execution. But as I personally dug into the mindset section, it just became really clear to me and I’ve been sort of shouting it from the rooftops ever since that we really need to understand what our most impactful contribution is, like, what we’re really here to do in our work before we start figuring out what to delegate.
Because the more clear we can be on what our time should be spent on, the more clear we will be when it’s time to get rid of everything that’s not that. And so I think that many people start delegation just like, “Oh, I hate this, I hate that, take this, take that” and then what happens is we create this vacuum with our time, where more and more of the clutter of all the things that we’re being asked to do that we don’t like to do, we’re not great at, just kind of keep flooding through.
So when we’re really clear about what we’re here to do, what we’re here to contribute, we can set up some boundaries to really protect our time so that all of that vacuum activity is not occurring because it’s being refilled with the right stuff.
Drew Appelbaum: Now, when you started writing the book, in your mind, who were you writing this book for? Is it someone who is currently struggling the delegation, is this someone who thinks they’re doing well but maybe there’s more they can learn and you could teach them?
Emily Morgan: Yeah, I mean, it’s for anyone that wants to get better at delegation, whether you are really strong at it or whether you’re trying to get better with it. I think you’re still going to learn different perspectives and do some different exercises than maybe you’ve done in the past around figuring out what is the best use of my time, what is my most impactful contribution?
What are all the things I’m doing that are not that and like I mentioned earlier, there’s so much around the mindset piece because there’s so many self-sabotaging thoughts or limiting beliefs that we bring to the table as leaders that contribute to why delegation isn’t really moving the needle for us. So I think it’s for anyone at any point in your delegation journey.
Drew Appelbaum: So set the foundation for us, what is a culture of delegation?
Emily Morgan: Yeah, I’m a champion of this because to me, a culture of delegation is everyone delegating and elevating their time so that they’re making more of an impact. So it usually starts with the leader and then the leadership team and then the management team and it just keeps pushing its way deeper into the organization, so that everyone is focused on work that energizes them, that they feel like they’re making an impact on.
To me, when you have healthy, happy employees who are contributing and feeling like they’re creating impact, your organization as a whole is going to be more impactful and it actually becomes a retention strategy because you have people there who are loving what they’re doing, doing work that excites them and they feel the power of the impact they’re making.
Drew Appelbaum: You briefly touched on it before but I’d love to dig in a little more. Can you talk about your own personal journey coming from being delegated to, to then transitioning, becoming an entrepreneur and delegating yourself?
Emily Morgan: Yeah, for sure. The early part of my career, I worked as an admin, like an executive assistant and decided after my son was born that I really didn’t want the headaches of a commute and that old traditional nine-to-five situation while raising my son. So, I learned that, “Hey, you can actually do this work virtually” and so I started my company after he was born, Delegate Solutions and the whole point was that I was freed up from a commute to be able to do work that I loved but more on my own terms.
Then we got busier and busier and suddenly, I was really getting entrepreneurial about it. I had no business training at that time, I was an English major from U Penn and I just really liked helping people. So that’s sort of how I started it and then, as it grew, I got more and more educated around business like formal training and started building out my team and right now, we have right around 50 employees.
What makes me happy is that they all work from home, all around the country and they really love the work that they’re doing and the impact that they’re making for others. And the impact that they are allowing others to make through this delegation of work.
Drew Appelbaum: What exactly is holding most people back from delegating correctly? Is it always just trust?
Emily Morgan: So, there’s so much to that question and like, I teach that there’s three parts to delegating well, there’s discipline, art and science and the discipline piece is really the piece where you’re talking about limiting beliefs, you’re talking about being really scared to let go because what does that mean to the person you present to the world to be if you’re not so busy anymore. Or, if you are – you know, other people are doing work that you’ve been doing, like, does that mean you’re not as important?
So there’s a lot of subtext to delegation on the mindset side of things and then, on the art side, you’re talking about what you can delegate and so, it’s a question of figuring out what those things are and we have some exercises we work through in the book where we look at how you’re spending your time and we identify things that can go. And then the other part is the science, which is how you’re actually getting it from your plate to someone else. So, all of those three areas, there can be breakdowns within so it really depends which part there you’re struggling with the most.
Drew Appelbaum: What do you do to break that cycle if you’re not doing it correctly?
Emily Morgan: To me, I think it’s an awareness activity, which is why this book really focuses on that because if we’re really clear on what we want to spend our time on, what impact we’re trying to make, what things we’re doing that are not those things and we’re committed to sort of following a best practice model for delegation, then delegation will never be an issue for you going forward.
I mean, you might have different things come up but once you get it going and it’s working well, it’s like addicting and you start to think in the frame of mind of like, “Okay, I need to do this thing by Thursday. That means, someone else needs to do this, this, and this because all I need to do is show up on Thursday and do that.” But when you look at the whole thing that you have to do on Thursday, you know, a lot of people are like, “Well, I just have to do all those things.”
But instead, if you kind of think about it as, “Well, what is the piece that I have to do” and then if you have a great support partner that helps you unpack all the rest of what needs to happen to get you there, it’s a huge win and it becomes like just a way of living.
The Impact of Delegation
Drew Appelbaum: What is happening when delegation is really working for your company? What positive changes can you see?
Emily Morgan: Yeah, I think you see an increase in employee happiness and employee contribution and I think entrepreneurs are notorious for making fast decisions as I am sure you have seen in your work and what can happen is our employees are not in that mindset and so they’re in a security mindset and they’re very much used to like, “Well, I’m really busy and I need to look busy” and all of that.
So if you take away things they’re doing to feel busy and you don’t replace it with more important impactful activities that can be really scary for them. So there is definitely a nuance to being able to execute a culture of delegation within your company that is purely an awareness campaign in the beginning both for you, your leadership, and for your team executing as well.
Drew Appelbaum: I’m glad you mentioned the mindset portion of this. So what are some ways that folks can really reframe their thinking to feel more comfortable and to be more successful and let the folks they’re working with perform better as they delegate?
Emily Morgan: Yeah, two things. There is a scorecard that we share as one of our resources and it’s called, “The 10 Habits of Mindsets of Elevated Leaders,” and so we walk through those five habits, five mindsets in the book. You can score yourself and you can score yourself today and then score yourself after you have been working on delegation for a month or two. You can use that type of tool to sort of dial in on a habit or mindset that maybe you’re struggling with.
You could have the team that supports you score you and sort of compare notes. So that’s just more of an analytical way to think about it but you know for us, we teach affirmations. So we teach people, you know, “I am an awesome delegator” and you are saying that and you’re staring at that and you’re thinking that because when you change your thinking, you change your life. And so affirmations are a huge part of being able to make these kinds of transformations.
Drew Appelbaum: Now, you mentioned that part two of the book is all about techniques for successful delegation. Do you want to give us an overview of some of the tactics used?
Emily Morgan: Yeah, so part one is the discipline and so in that section, we do an overview around bottleneck behaviors for example. So in our work, we’ve identified five bottleneck types that entrepreneurial leaders exhibit when they are blocking delegation pretty much. So we talk through a lot of that. We talked through a lot of self-sabotaging behavior that we might be doing to get in front of the team from actually being able to execute well and why that happens and how to fix it.
In the art section, we do an exercise where we talk about how we’re spending our time. So we want to look back and see what we were spending our time on the last few weeks, start to capture that and start to categorize it.
And then in the science section, we’re really talking about a step-by-step process that you can follow to actually get something off your plate and I think that one of the things that is missing in the delegation space is there’s no one talking about a process for delegation that is reliable and repeatable. So we do a lot of work on understanding what that process is, it is a very simple process but it is something that we can cling to as our days are imploding and we’re getting so busy.
Drew Appelbaum: Now, let’s say you are rearing to go, your mindset is ready, you’ve put in the work, you understand the techniques, enter part three of the book, execution. Now, is there one method of execution for all employees?
Emily Morgan: Yeah, I mean the execution piece is about the delegation system that we were talking about. So it is a way for you to actually systematically think through what’s coming off your plate and how. And then the habits and mindsets is a deep dive into the scorecard where we sort of analyze where we might want to get some extra support and then chapter nine is about cascading a culture of delegation.
So how we are going about pushing delegation culturally into our organizations deeper and deeper into the accountability chart, so that really the last stop for the work is either gone, it’s automated or it’s off-shored somewhere.
Drew Appelbaum: Now also in that execution phase is your five-step delegate freedom system. Can you talk about these steps and maybe what it looks like when all of this is really seamless and functioning well?
Emily Morgan: So delegate freedom system is…picture a circle, so we are looking for repeatable delegations system is really the idea and so we always want to start with step one, which is focus. So we want to be really clear on what impact are we trying to make, what is the best use of our time and just getting back in touch with that on a weekly level and then step two is evaluate.
So this is a great thing you could do at the beginning of every week, when you are trying to plan your week to have a really productive week, so you are getting clear on what you want to spend your time on. Then you are going to step two, you’re evaluating, you are looking back over the last week to see what things did you spend your time on that maybe weren’t the best use of your time or someone else could have done for you. You’re just sort of gathering data.
And then step three is to prioritize and that’s where we really want to create a delegation strategy that is going to move the needle for us because we always want to be delegating around our goals and priorities. So it is not just about the things that are annoying us but it is about what you are delegating that is going to help move things forward for you.
Step four is about handoffs, so it is how you are moving it from your plate to someone else’s. And step five is feedback. We like to teach that when giving feedback, just make it part of your normal weekly meeting with your support partner, that is a really healthy thing that you are giving and receiving that feedback.
Impact of Let It Go!
Drew Appelbaum: Now, I want to talk about some of the chapter recaps you have in the book. They almost kind of read as workbooks or quizzes, so what do you ask of the reader throughout the book?
Emily Morgan: Yeah, I am a big believer in repetition. So you definitely see that throughout the book, so you know, you’re going to write in chapter one what is your most impactful contribution. And you’re going to figure out like when you get out of the day-to-day, what are you going to spend your time on and what impact will you be able to make. And so we really set the foundation there and we just start building on that as we go through the chapters.
But I like to sort of repeat that at the end of every chapter, “So my most impactful contribution is this, when I free up my time I want to spend it on this” and then we just add on to it, so it becomes like building blocks. I know like whenever I’ve been coached or studying things, I feel like that gets lost sometimes and then it becomes really disjointed exercise. So I was really intentional about carrying the whole building blocks through.
Drew Appelbaum: So what impact do you hope the book will have on a reader and are there other immediate steps that you hope readers will take either while reading the book or immediately after finishing the book?
Emily Morgan: Yeah, good question. Our mission at my company and I think for me personally is to create freedom for people to do what they love and have a big impact. So my hope is that the book helps people learn how to do that better and I think we’re all here to make a unique contribution. We’re all here to do something really impactful. The sooner we can understand that and protect that, the more we can impact the world.
So that’s the true calling that I have for this book and I believe that when we’re clear on what those parameters are, then we can really start to put a plan together to protect our time. So I hope that the book brings more impact to the world because we sure do need entrepreneurs leveraged in doing what they are here to do in this world.
Drew Appelbaum: Now besides again, the resources mentioned in the book, you also have a companion website for the book. So what is the website and what can folks find there?
Emily Morgan: Yeah, I have so many resources and they’re not all in the book because some of them are weird sizes. So the URL is letitgodelegationbook.com and we’re going to have tons of different, you know, we’ll have the scorecard in there, we’ll have sample tasks to delegate, we’ll have tools and other resources there that you can use as you are trying to go deeper with delegation.
Drew Appelbaum: Well Emily, we just touched on the surface of the book here, there is so much more inside. I just want to say that sharing your knowledge and expertise in delegation and bringing it out to the world is no small feat. So congratulations on having your book published.
Emily Morgan: Thank you.
Drew Appelbaum: I do have one question left. If readers could take away only one single thing from the book, what would you want it to be?
Emily Morgan: I think the biggest thing for me is that we’re all here to make an impact. So you know, what are you here to contribute to this world to make it better. And getting back in touch with that and being willing to protect it and use tools and intentionality to actually do that I think we’re all going to benefit from that.
Drew Appelbaum: Well, Emily, this has been a pleasure and I’m excited for people to check out the book. Everyone, the book is called, Let it Go! and you could find it on Amazon. Emily, besides checking out the book, besides going to your website, is there anywhere else where people can connect with you?
Emily Morgan: Sure, on LinkedIn, pretty much all of that information is on the website, so it should be really easy to find from there.
Drew Appelbaum: Well, thank you so much for spending some time with us today and best of luck with your new book.
Emily Morgan: Thank you.