Wednesday, 10 October 2018
I’m going to start delegating in public.
Every Starcraft player knows the ominous warning “Additional supply depots required.” that sounds when you’ve used up all of your supply resources. In the game, this is ironically both a good and a bad thing, because it means you’ve maxed out your army size, but you can’t grow any larger until you’ve built more supply depots.
Every company ends up capped in some way. There’s always a limiting factor. Yesterday I spoke to a CEO who has raised $80M for his company, which is profitable, has 500 employees, a strong management team, is doubling every year, expanding its tech platform, entering new markets, and acquiring about one new company per quarter. His biggest problem: Management Bandwidth. He can’t delegate more work to any of his team leaders. They spend a lot of time doing prioritization and sequencing exercises, deciding what to do now, and what to put off. There’s no shortage of things to do. There’s no shortage of people to do them. There’s no shortage of money to pay them. There’s a shortage of management bandwidth: they just can’t take on more projects per quarter — they’ve hit their limit.
Of course, I pitched him on Invisible. The average knowledge worker could delegate 41% of their work, which would save roughly $75K per year per employee for him, which works out to $40M a year in direct savings. If each of his managers had an army of assistants working for them, they could take on more projects. He jumped on that and had his assistant set up a call on Monday with their CTO.
The irony of being the CEO of Invisible is that I need to practice what I preach: if Invisible really does solve for bandwidth problems, I should have no bandwidth problems. But of course, I do. It’s like a law of physics: I can’t get around it. I’ve maxed out my team leaders, and they’ve maxed out their teams. I’ve maxed out what Keats can do for me directly. I need to hire a COO and an Executive Assistant to leverage Keats. And meanwhile, I’m pinned. All of the projects that are left to do are too big for me to commit to singlehandedly without support. So I’m sitting here writing blog posts, which seems to be the highest leverage use of my time until those hires are made by Erinn’s team.
So I’m going to start delegating in public. I’m going to pretend that I have unlimited delegation resources. This will make my problem landscape more visible. And will outline the approaches I’d take on these projects if I were doing them. I’ll be an easier person to help when this is done.
It is easier to be honest with a Genie than with a real person. The Genie gives you permission to ask for what you want, without considering how it will get done, or the limits of his power. I have a feeling this will set me free to make wishes and focus on abundance thinking. And backlogs have a way of getting done. Resources are looking for worthy problems.