The Path To Leadership

Elevating Productivity by Decluttering and Delegating with Jenna

April 16, 2024 Catalyst Development Season 1 Episode 30
Elevating Productivity by Decluttering and Delegating with Jenna
The Path To Leadership
More Info
The Path To Leadership
Elevating Productivity by Decluttering and Delegating with Jenna
Apr 16, 2024 Season 1 Episode 30
Catalyst Development

Send us a Text Message.

Wondering how to breeze through spring cleaning, not just in your home but in your work life as well? Jenna and I take you on a laughter-filled journey that'll leave your physical and digital spaces transformed, and your productivity soaring. We swap stories about the bedlam that ensues when work environments and inboxes are neglected, offering a friendly reminder that chaos can be tamed. With a little humor and lots of practical advice, we delve into the nitty-gritty of effective delegation, breaking down the misconception that authority is to be hoarded. Discover the seven must-know tactics to delegate like a pro, ensure you're leveraging the strengths of your entire team, and find out why sometimes stepping back is the best step forward.

This episode isn't just about clearing the clutter; it's about cultivating growth. Learn how to spot the hidden gems within your team and why the quiet achievers might hold the key to your next success. We'll pull insights from Adam Grant's "Originals" and our own leadership adventures to show you how setting stretch goals can unveil the untapped potential in your colleagues. Plus, we dive into the joy of aligning work with your team's 'working genius,' transforming the daily grind into a symphony of productivity. By the end, you'll have a toolkit not just for spring cleaning, but for building a workplace where everyone's contributions are valued and the harmony leads to triumphs all year round. Join Jenna and me for a session that's sure to dust off the cobwebs and inject some fresh energy into your professional life.

Get your growth guide here:  https://katieervin.com/growthguide/

Follow Catalyst Development on LinkedIn @catalystdevelopment, @drkatieervin, @jennascott, @emmablankenship

www.cdleaders.com

Theme music by Emma Jo https://emmajo.rocks/

Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

Send us a Text Message.

Wondering how to breeze through spring cleaning, not just in your home but in your work life as well? Jenna and I take you on a laughter-filled journey that'll leave your physical and digital spaces transformed, and your productivity soaring. We swap stories about the bedlam that ensues when work environments and inboxes are neglected, offering a friendly reminder that chaos can be tamed. With a little humor and lots of practical advice, we delve into the nitty-gritty of effective delegation, breaking down the misconception that authority is to be hoarded. Discover the seven must-know tactics to delegate like a pro, ensure you're leveraging the strengths of your entire team, and find out why sometimes stepping back is the best step forward.

This episode isn't just about clearing the clutter; it's about cultivating growth. Learn how to spot the hidden gems within your team and why the quiet achievers might hold the key to your next success. We'll pull insights from Adam Grant's "Originals" and our own leadership adventures to show you how setting stretch goals can unveil the untapped potential in your colleagues. Plus, we dive into the joy of aligning work with your team's 'working genius,' transforming the daily grind into a symphony of productivity. By the end, you'll have a toolkit not just for spring cleaning, but for building a workplace where everyone's contributions are valued and the harmony leads to triumphs all year round. Join Jenna and me for a session that's sure to dust off the cobwebs and inject some fresh energy into your professional life.

Get your growth guide here:  https://katieervin.com/growthguide/

Follow Catalyst Development on LinkedIn @catalystdevelopment, @drkatieervin, @jennascott, @emmablankenship

www.cdleaders.com

Theme music by Emma Jo https://emmajo.rocks/

Dr. Katie Ervin:

Hey everyone, welcome back to the Path to Leadership. I have a special treat today Someone who hasn't been on in quite a while. I was just thinking about this. Recently we haven't had the team on lately, so today we've got Jenna hey, jenna, hey, how are you? I am doing well, doing well and we're going to talk about. I don't know if this is our favorite topic, but it's definitely a topic that is top of our list and that we talk about all the time.

Jenna Scott:

Yeah, it's part of my personality. Getting rid of decluttering. That's part of who I am.

Dr. Katie Ervin:

Yeah, yeah. Well, and for Catalyst, each month we've started kind of doing different themes for the month, and this is April. It's all about spring cleaning, and not just in our personal lives but professional, and we do so much with that, just trying to declutter the work we're doing.

Jenna Scott:

Yeah, I mean, it's so hard. As you know, professionals and humans, let's just go ahead and lump that in there. We all have things that happen and go through and sometimes you just got to, like, get rid of your space clutter, your mental clutter, so that you can actually, you know, try to get things done and feel like you have a grasp on the things you're trying to tackle daily.

Dr. Katie Ervin:

Yeah, yeah Well, and I think it was Emma that posted on our LinkedIn page about your challenge for Friday, april 12th was declutter your desk. And I just had to laugh when I read that, because my husband had been traveling. He came home, he walked into my office and he's like what has happened in there? But I had been like coming and going and like throwing things on my desk and throwing things on the floor and I knew it was chaotic. And then when he left I was like I just got to straighten everything up and get things organized.

Jenna Scott:

Yeah, I literally cannot work if there is clutter in my desk and around my space, like it will distract me and I cannot. So if there is places where I've had to have that kind of a week, I will go somewhere else and make it so I can't see that clutter, because I'll end up cleaning everything and then I'll start doing the dishes and then tenacity takes over and then it's like all right, everything else has gotten done today besides what I needed to do.

Dr. Katie Ervin:

Yeah, and I think that's what happened to me, not my tenacity, but like I was just so overwhelmed by the, the clutter. And it's funny too, because right before we started hit record like one of the other things that we've both been doing today is trying to declutter inbox. Yeah, which again.

Jenna Scott:

We've had a week of events and being out and about. I told somebody yesterday Emma and I went from 8 am until 7 pm yesterday and we were both like it was great and it was so much fun, especially for me or Emma introverted, emma is a little toast today, but it was wonderful. It's just so much.

Dr. Katie Ervin:

Yeah, Even for an extrovert it's sometimes too much. Yeah, and I was supposed to go to an event this afternoon and I'm like I just don't think I can. I think I've got to just sit in a quiet place and either read or do nothing, Just let my brain simmer. So let's talk a little bit, because it's so funny. I said talk about delegation because we talk about it so often. You're like talk about delegation Cause we talk about so often. You're like, yeah, cause you delegate to me all the time.

Jenna Scott:

Because you know the things that bring me joy and usually are things that I can get done pretty quickly.

Dr. Katie Ervin:

Right, right, well, and we get asked this question all the time, like how do I delegate better, how do I get out of the weeds? I literally have had three coaching calls this week with clients who have all said like I've got to get out of the weeds, I've got to get out of you know, the day-to-day operations, yeah, and it's hard.

Jenna Scott:

I mean, I know that for me sometimes when I had, you know, people below me like just being the person that I am, I just like to get things done. I'm a little bit more of an in the weeds person and in the action, and so it can be really hard to delegate those things. And the other side is then like also one, trusting your team, and two, knowing how you would get it done is not how they're getting it done. It's like it's so hard to relinquish that control of like I just know how to do it. I'm going to do it fast, it's going to be done, but you don't have time.

Dr. Katie Ervin:

Yeah, yeah. And you know it's so funny because the first step, like one of the first things, is evaluating, acknowledging like I'm a great delegator or I'm not a good delegator, and the why, and you know how we've been successful and really why we might be hesitant to delegate as well.

Jenna Scott:

Yeah, it's a. It's the first step to anything right, Knowing your self-awareness, knowing your emotional intelligence of yourself, kind of being able to say like, okay, I know this is not a strong suit for me. I know that I have to really concentrate hard on this to be able to be aware of it, Because I think the hardest thing for delegation is that most people don't realize that they're bogging themselves down because they don't take the five minutes and say, okay, what can I actually delegate to somebody else? But you had an article that you shared last week right Of some of the like best steps to delegation.

Dr. Katie Ervin:

Yeah, yeah, exactly, it was in our newsletter. So if you're not on a newsletters list, I'm in the show description. It has information to get on the newsletter. But it is the seven ways to delegate better and unleash your team's full potential. And that first one is like that self-evaluation. So how do you delegate? The next one I love is don't hoard authority, and I think that is such a powerful statement because so often we don't see it as hoarding authority, we see it as I can get done quicker or I don't wanna burden my people or this, and we call delegation truly a gift because you're allowing other people to step up and to take responsibility and, to you know, really create these future leaders.

Jenna Scott:

Yeah, it's. It definitely is cool to see how delegation can be a diff once you flip your mindset around it. Because, especially I feel like as women, we get told all the time like don't burden other people, don't give them more stuff to carry, don't do this, just take it all on yourself. And you know we end up like doing a million things and then just being like mentally, physically and emotionally exhausted because we're trying to do everything and not realizing that, especially if you have people below you who are earlier in their career, it can really be a cool stretch project for them or it can be something that they learn something new from. And yes, it might take a little bit more time to sit down and say, hey, this is how I would do this, but you're welcome to have free reign of your own process and ask me questions, but in the end, those five minutes that you take will help you in the long run.

Jenna Scott:

It's kind of like it's funny because everybody knows that me being in the fitness world right, like I have been telling myself I'm going to start meal prepping again for a really long time and I haven't done it. And next week we have a bonkers week like absolutely insanity and I was like I have to meal prep this week. I have to take three hours on Sunday to prep at least some lunches, maybe some breakfast, so that I have more time in my Monday through Friday to get stuff done. So it's like kind of the same thought process and if you can take some front loaded time, delegate to other people, then you can make it easier on yourself.

Dr. Katie Ervin:

Yeah, yeah, that's so true, and it's interesting because the next step is clearly defined expectations. And so you know, really, for that effective delegation, it's you know what are the expectations, what's the ownership, what's the prioritization and that quality. We talk about this all the time. One of my struggles with delegation is not that I don't trust who I'm delegating it to, it's that you know, everyone may do it a different way than how I would do it, and it's okay. It's okay as long as it gets done successfully, whatever success looks like.

Jenna Scott:

Yeah, I think the cool thing is like for us like we've worked together for so long and included that you know what I'm going to put out by now. Right, you know how it's going to look. But earlier in our relationship together, when you first started being my boss, you would delegate me something and then I could go through and I could make it how I wanted, to ask questions along the way if I wanted, and then give it back to you and say, hey, here's my finished product. What do you want to add to it? What do you want to subtract from it? What do you want to subtract from it? Is this what you expected? Did I hit the mark? And we did it with enough time.

Jenna Scott:

This is my tenacity. Speaking that said like, hey, we have a two day buffer where I can still go in and I can make more edits, or I can do more things if I need to. To delegate, put in some time where you can meet with your people after they've done this project or task or whatever it is, and say, hey, I just want to review it with you so that my brain knows where it's at, so that I know how it's getting done and I can give you feedback along the way and make sure that we're matching up.

Dr. Katie Ervin:

Yeah, yeah, and that's so important too, and that's one of the important steps in this is tracking the progress and providing feedback, and even I know very early on, it's so funny We've been doing this math lately. Like six years we have been together, which sounds crazy and so fantastic. I think it's good that it doesn't feel like it's been six years, like can you imagine if it's like?

Jenna Scott:

it feels like it's 30, but it feels like yesterday and other days. I'm like man. We've been together forever. What are you talking about?

Dr. Katie Ervin:

I know, I know, but really early on there was that project. I talk about this project all the time. It was is a project you were taking on for executive level leadership and I was like I'm so excited about it and it's such a cool project and so I'm going to ask questions, not because I don't trust you, it's that, quite frankly, I'm really envious that you get to do this project.

Jenna Scott:

Yeah, yeah. And that was such a great conversation too for leaders to think about. Like so often, katie's like this is such a cool project. I'm really interested. And if she would not have given me that context, I may have seen her questions and intrigue as like judgment or mistrust. And so if you don't tell your people like, hey, I'm super interested in this, I just want you to know that I'm curious because I'm envious or because I just want to know what's going on, they might be like why are you checking on me 24 seven? Why are you micromanaging me? You know, if I wouldn't have had that, my micromanage buzzer would have gone off and been like whoa, back up lady.

Dr. Katie Ervin:

Yeah, get out of my business, yeah, yeah. And that's why I think that transparency is so important, because you know, as someone who is very probably not a micromanager, it's still it can feel like sometimes like hovering, and it's like you just want to be with the cool kids. And the other thing which is not in this article but I think is so important you know when we're thinking about. You know who we're choosing. So the article talks about rewarding and recognizing top performers, and I almost push back a little on that because I don't think you should only delegate to top performers.

Dr. Katie Ervin:

I think you need to give people an opportunity and a stretch and like, why is someone a top performer? Are they a top performer Because you know they're an extrovert standing in the front of the room like, pick me, pick me, pick me. You know, or is it that you know we talk about? Sometimes there's some cultures out there that just are not that outward vocal, like more, more, more, me, me, me. Or there may be people that are doing, you know, living in imposter syndrome and lacking confidence, and so I would say, yes, we want people to perform highly, but don't just go to the people that we think, oh, I'll check the box, very easy.

Jenna Scott:

Yeah, I mean that's that's the Babel effect, right, like that's actually a psychological term.

Jenna Scott:

It's called the Babel effect when somebody who's just loud and is always there and is probably like me, but you know somebody who's always there saying, I'll take it, I'll take it. Yeah, they're going to be the top performer because they're always willing to take it and maybe they always get the project. But you might miss somebody who you know they have the skills, or maybe you have an idea that they had the skills and if you never present them with that project, you're not going to ever uncover those skills. So that was one of actually the conversations in a hiddenential by Adam Grant that I just finished reading a month or so ago. You know, look at the people who have skills but maybe haven't had an opportunity to fully develop them and challenge them, because most of the time people will rise to that occasion as long as they also know they have somebody willing to give them the resources, sit down and ask questions and show them the way. Once you've been shown a path, once you usually can find it again. It's just having that opportunity to find it.

Dr. Katie Ervin:

Yeah, I think it's so important and I think what would be great for this podcast is that we put the link for people to get the free growth guide.

Dr. Katie Ervin:

Because the growth guide is so powerful to do with our team, because it allows people to identify you know they do their own personal SWOT but then also like what are some of their stretch goals, what are some of the things they want to do? And it allows us as leaders to have that conversation with our team when a project comes up, to be able to step up and take that on. And the other thing I think for leaders is really powerful that you have really taught me back in our previous life is I would show you my to-do list and Emma and and Julius as well and be like this is what's on my to-do list, what looks interesting, and you're just a gift of tenacity, so you're like I'll just take that, cause it'll take me two minutes, but there's other things that you all will look at the list and be like I want to do that or I want to take that on. And you've even had an Emma too, like some client engagements, where you're like I got it, I'll take lead. Yeah.

Jenna Scott:

Yeah, I mean we just finished working with the NAIA students and I just I love them and you do too. You know you obviously have a daughter who's an NAIA athlete and all the other things too. But like things too, but like student athletes because I was an athlete are just so I just love them. I just want to invest in them. I just want to like pinch their cheeks because they're adorable, but also adults and I won't do that, um, but I just love to invest in them. And so when we got to do some sessions for them, I was like I'll take it no big deal. And I mean you asked me probably three or four times like, hey, do you need anything from me? I'm like, nope, go away, got it Thanks.

Jenna Scott:

Yeah, I think there's also, you know, something to be said, for we can't do a podcast without talking about the working genius, right? And as we're talking about your to-do list and things that you know, we're going to look at things that Emma, naturally, is going to gravitate towards, is going to be, you know, those wonder things like those big questions and maybe a little bit more of the start of a project, and then she's looking at the enablement and the little tiny details and the making it pretty part that she does such a great job at. I am not going to gravitate towards those things. You are not going to gravitate towards those things because they're not your geniuses, right? And so something has tenacity in it and you're like, hey, this is something that's been on my to-do list for maybe longer than it should be and you give it to me. It's a gift to you and it's a gift to me, right? Because I'm like, oh yeah, boom, boom, boom done. And you're like, thank you, goodbye.

Dr. Katie Ervin:

Yeah, yeah, and I think that's such a perfect bow and it's so right. I mean delegation, when done right, really is truly a gift for both of us.

Jenna Scott:

I mean it allows growth opportunity on one side and it allows the leader to breathe.

Jenna Scott:

Yeah, yeah, and I you know there's plenty of people out there who have never taken the working genius, and this is not us trying to sell you the working genius. Yes, we love it. It's amazing, it's fantastic. You should do it. However, you don't have to always take the working genius to be able to know where somebody naturally drives energy, paying attention to the way that they function. You know, I could have told you before Emma took the working genius that she likes to ask big questions. That's somebody who's got some wonder. You know who loves that kind of big strategic thinking? You could have told somebody that Jenna loves a checklist a long time ago, right? If there's anything that needs to be pushed over that cliff, give it to Jenna.

Dr. Katie Ervin:

Yeah, yeah, you're absolutely right. And it is funny because, yeah, I do think the working genius is so powerful. But I always just tell people, like, ask people what type of work gives them joy, like what are the type of things? And and I just met with a group the other day and they have not done the working genius and it they have a whole different assessment that they use in love and it's actually really good. I'd never heard of it before.

Dr. Katie Ervin:

But, um, you know, it's kind of one of those things where it's like you know, lean into that, use that you're, you're paying for these assessments and I, I hate when organizations spend all of this money for these assessments and then just never do anything with it. And so it's like, if you've done this type of stuff, lean into it with your delegation, like what, what is it that? And I will also caution there's another organization I I just worked with and they're really dinging their people on. Well, you need to do more high level thinking. You know you're not rating high in these areas. And it's like well, this assessment has told you what their God-given talents are. Not necessarily it doesn't excuse them from the behavior, but don't be marking them down and dinging them and, you know, stunning their promotion growth, you know or not giving them opportunities in those areas.

Jenna Scott:

Yeah, I feel like that's so hard. You know we're not giving them opportunities in those areas. Yeah, I feel like that's so hard. You know assessments are a dime, a dozen, like everybody's taken at least one. There's so many out there. Some of them are so much harder to understand.

Jenna Scott:

But really, like you said, like use it. I mean, if that means you guys do love languages for free online, do it Whatever can help you understand your people or just have a genuine conversation, like you said, katie. I mean it's understanding, like, hey, what do I naturally do without somebody asking me to do? That's probably your genius. That's probably what gives you joy. That's probably the things that you like to do. You know, if somebody asked me to sit behind a desk every day and crunch numbers, I would cry no, thank you. Right, could you throw me out? We were just talking about there's a big meeting coming up I think it's actually right now in Kansas City. It's like 600 people. That is my dream place. I love those giant meetings with a thousand people and you know I love to do that and I always have.

Jenna Scott:

When I was in college I got asked to speak to, you know, the 500 person accounting class for my business fraternity because I was like, oh yeah, that sounds fun. Everybody else is like, oh no, thank you, that sounds terrible. But Emma is like, oh no, that's my worst nightmare. No, thank you, I do not want to do that. So you know these things about yourself, so tell people. If that's not something that gives you joy and I think also from you know Katie being my supervisor boss, I can also look at her and be like, yeah, I don't know if this is going to fit me. Yes, I'll do it because I'm an adult and I will obviously help out where I can. But after the fact that I do a delegated task, I can also say like, hey, I got through that one, it was rough for me. If we can stay away from tasks like that, that'd be great.

Dr. Katie Ervin:

Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. And I think where that growth guide is so helpful because it allows for those conversations and that relationship building and understanding you know where everyone is and where they want to want to go and it is that's another part of the delegation gift is when your team is like no thank you. But when you don't have that safety to be like no thank you, then it feels like and I should say there is assigning work that is part of your job, and then there's delegation and that assigning work is part of your job. The delegation is really that gift of stretch goals and opportunities and learning and all of those things, and so I really really encourage leaders to lean into delegation as well.

Jenna Scott:

Yeah, all right. So what's the next focus of the article, or have we gotten through all of them?

Dr. Katie Ervin:

We got through them all. Yeah, they're easy peasy. Yeah, the key really is to me, it's self-awareness at the beginning that you mentioned, and then it's the you know, getting the right people in the right seats, doing the right tasks, and then you know at the end, showing them appreciation, love, giving them the opportunity to grow.

Jenna Scott:

Yeah, it's so important and really I mean, you know, we tell people all the time you have to create boundaries for yourself, you have to create priorities for yourself. We just finished a session doing time management and everyone, everyone asks us for that session because everybody is stretched thin. But we all have the same 24 hours in a day and we all, like you know, so often people are like how do you guys get so much done? And it's because we share tasks so well. And somebody at the Small Business Superstars yesterday was like you guys are everywhere. And we somebody at the small business superstars yesterday was like you guys are everywhere.

Jenna Scott:

And I think that is the thing that people say to us the most. Either that or I wore catalyst green come out of people's mouths and it is truly because we've figured out how to share things with each other. You know, even when I get delegated a task, sometimes I'll say, hey, emma, will you help me get creative with this, because I need a starting point, and then I'll finish it, trying to kind of speed up that process. And we all know how to work with each other. You just have to communicate and try it out.

Dr. Katie Ervin:

Yeah, yeah, you're exactly right. And the importance of we don't have to own everything, we don't have to be responsible for everything, we can ask for help. And, more importantly, I wish I could just walk around and hand everyone a button that says no. Like, get comfortable saying no, that's a whole nother podcast we need to do. But like, stop saying yes to everything. Stop being a people pleaser, stop worrying that people aren't going to like you. Say no, say no to yourself, delegate, you know, pass it on.

Jenna Scott:

Yeah, I think that's kind of an important piece to say too in this whole thing is asking people if they have capacity before you delegate them something. You know, I think so often we can be like, hey, do you want to delegate this? And then we're going to be like I'll take it, and then they're like in their head going like, oh, why are you such a jerk and why are you giving me more jobs to do? I don't want to do this, but you won't say no, so ask people.

Dr. Katie Ervin:

Yeah, yeah, yeah, you're absolutely right. Well, thank you so much. I'm going to go clean out my email and delegate a whole bunch of work to you, oh awesome.

Jenna Scott:

Looking forward to that. I'm going to turn my inbox off. I don't know I'm going to turn my inbox off.

Dr. Katie Ervin:

I don't know I'm going to be away from my computer and phone for the next while A little internet connectivity issue. Yeah, exactly. Well, thanks for jumping on and having this conversation and for everyone listening, we are going to put in the show notes the growth guide, so please download it, share it with your team, have conversations around it. It's such a gift when you can understand what people want to do and how they want to do it.

Jenna Scott:

Yeah, and since Emma's not here, I'm going to say your homework is find one task to delegate. One Could be big, could be little.

Dr. Katie Ervin:

Yep Great homework, good homework, all right, everyone. Thank you for joining us on the path to leadership and we will see you next time. Bye, everyone.

Effective Delegation in Work and Life
Recognizing and Encouraging Team Growth
Delegating Tasks for Success

Podcasts we love