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If I Could Only Clone Myself! Seven Steps to Creating Empowered and Reliable Employees
by Casey Wright, Founder/CEO 3E! & NinjaZone

If you feel like you “over-identify” with the title of this article, then congratulate yourself – it means you are pretty amazing. If you already know you need another version of yourself to get things done, you clearly recognize you have a unique quality that is changing the world around you! Think about it, though: if you could educate, delegate, teach, and EMPOWER someone to take a good chunk of what you have on your plate, then you don’t need all that science – you can clone yourself, yourself! And this isn’t being lazy – you are improving your quality of life. And by empowering someone else, you are giving them a gift – an opportunity to use their own gifts, to make decisions, to grow personally, and to build their confidence. Leadership is not management. It is empowerment.

Step One – The “WHY” BULLSEYE
Always start with WHY. Sit down in a quiet space and make a list, answering these questions, at the very least: ‘Why do I need a clone? What would I do more of if I had one? What tasks do I dread that I could turn into someone else’s joy? Why am I so overwhelmed? What is this going to give me in the end? What will life look like without making this change?’ Answering these questions will generate conclusions that include spending more time with family and friends, and more time to take care of yourself. Think about the amount of time you would free up to work on the business instead of in the business. The biggest question you should answer, above all: ‘If I don’t do this, what results will I see, and how am I causing my business to suffer?’ Be honest with yourself. You deserve that much.

Step Two – FEAR FACTS We go through life, whether we are aware of it or not, comparing the upside potential to the downside risk. If you do that “thing,” what’s the worst that could happen, and should you do it anyway? Write down your fears. Don’t skip this step. “If I hire someone and create a clone, will it work? Is it worth my time to train someone else? How do I know if I can afford it? Will they do it wrong? What will people think of me?” These are all relevant fears, but by writing them down, you will naturally find solutions. Knowing you have that plan is insurance, and you are more likely to take the risk. Once you’ve defined your fears, make a list of what will happen if it works (or if you’re feeling really brave--when it works.) List things such as: how much time you will have in general, how much traveling you could do with your family, and most importantly, how you would feel. Compare the upside potential with the downside risk. Don’t forget to be realistic and apply probability to those fears!

Get it out of there! Write down everything that you do. Include everything that you are responsible for, make decisions on, and people that rely on you. Now start to form columns, or “buckets” of things ideas or tasks that match. You will notice things that either could be easily replaceable, things that you will need to teach, or systems that you need to create. This ever-important document should be highly valued, for this is the space where the role of your clone will begin to form.

Your focus determines your reality. Set crystal clear outcomes. What do you see in the future with a clone? This isn’t a job description or what you want them to do. It’s the outcomes you need to see, for the transition to be successful. If you’re not exactly sure of this, you can base these outcomes on someone successful and similar to the position you want to create. By knowing exactly the outcomes your clone needs to hit, you eliminate any questions as to their success, once hired. An example of an outcome for a Recreational Director would be “Increase gross sales by 10% from the previous year” or “Is in the hiring and training process of an assistant director at all times.”

When you delegate tasks, you create followers. When you delegate authority, you create leaders. Welcome your clone in and provide them a clear path to succeed. Communicate clearly what they need to learn, and set the expectations. A communication plan creates consistency. Set regular in-person meetings, where the two of you communicate on a regular basis to discuss any issues or questions, so they know they have that opportunity. Keep good notes of these discussions, and revisit outcomes periodically, in the event that they change. This will keep them on track, and allow them to feel that needed support. Making sure that they know they are being heard will provide them with the freedom to make choices and decisions. This also empowers them to win, lose, and learn from their mistakes.

If you want something you’ve never had, you’ve got to do something you’ve never done. Act like who you want to be, now. Think about your why, and operate with discipline toward the path you desire. If it was more time or freedom you wanted, then block your calendar, turn on notifications, and perform accordingly. This is a huge step in living the life you want to live. For example, if you block two hours to review financials every Wednesday morning, and then plan to go for a run afterwards, stick to it. When the notification pops up at you, don’t hesitate- the ledger closes, the running shoes go on, and you run. Do what you need to do for you, and be who you want to be! Stop putting out fires that aren’t even lit yet. If something does arise that needs your immediate attention, move your time block and re-commit, just as you would a commitment to someone else. Don’t break promises to yourself.

When your WHY is big enough, you will find your HOW. Keep reminding yourself what will happen when you do make this change and create an empowered person to help you through your work days. Ask yourself: If you do it right, what will it look like? Entrepreneurs and business owners have a lot on their plates. By creating your clone, you may have to remind yourself from time to time: you’re not being lazy. You are inching your way closer to being the best version of yourself that you can be. You are taking important steps to improve your quality of life and the lives of the people around you.