Common Goals. You and the team must we moving in the same direction and they need to know and understand what the goals are that they are accountable for.
Action Plan. There must be an Action Plan that people are held accountable for so they can measure their performance and know what they are achieving.
100% Involvement. To have a winning business everyone must be on board and travelling in the same direction. Everyone must have the same common belief and believe their input actually matters.
As part of my series about the “How To Delegate Effectively and Be Completely Satisfied With the Results”, I had the pleasure of interviewing Pete O’Keeffe.
Peter O’Keeffe is an Inspirational Leader & Award-Winning Mentor, Internationally Published Author & Successful Entrepreneur of several businesses focusing on Leadership in the UK. Along with my wife Janelle, they have over 43 years of combined high-level Leadership skill and mentoring experience.
As well as implementing their teachings in the boardroom, their 6 children have followed their leadership teachings and have gone on to become an International Rugby referee, Doctor of Ophthalmology, Olympian, USA scholarship recipients, National Dancer, NZ Army Special Forces, and PhD recipient in Virology.
Thank you so much for joining us in this interview series! Before we dive in, our readers would love to “get to know you” a bit better. Can you tell us a bit about your ‘backstory’ and how you got started?
I have run multiple businesses and made multiple mistakes! Both in the UK and NZ. I wanted to be out of the NZ Police by the time I was 40 and start my own businesses. That happened, 9 days before my 40th birthday. The scary part was making the decision — as they say getting started is 95% psychological, 5% is the ‘doing it.’ When I was 53 Janelle my wife said to me “I would like to teach in England!” I thought holy crap — really!
We moved in 2014, wondering what we would do. We have started a new business here. (teaching didn’t last long for Janelle — ask me why if you wish!!!!)
We moved because I did not want to die wondering ‘What if….” I believe it’s easier to try and it doesn’t work, than not try at all.
Can you tell us a story about the hard times that you faced when you first started your journey? Did you ever consider giving up? Where did you get the drive to continue even though things were so hard?
Moving countries and starting again has been the hardest thing I have ever done in my life. I thought moving to a ‘similar’ country where the culture and language was similar, would have been easy. How wrong I was.
Yes I nearly gave up. In fact, we were 4 days away from leaving the UK at one stage, to return to NZ, because we just could not get traction with the new business. The container was booked for our furniture, we had sold our house, and our business premises. We have a 1-way flight to NZ.
Then we had a conversation with our mentor. That conversation changed our lives.
We’re still here, and business has changed dramatically. (Oh and we managed to get our house back!! But not the business premises)
The drive to continue comes from my faith and the fact my God has never let me down before and he came to the party again this time as well. The drive also came from realising that people will help, however I have to do it myself — because no-one else will.
Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lessons or ‘takeaways’ you learned from that?
Jeepers, there are many stories I have of my stupidity and naivety when starting out.
How about this.
I had to move from an Employee mentality to a Business Owner mentality.
When I first started in my Business, I tried to work 9–5pm. That is what I was used to. Morning and afternoon tea for 15 minutes. Oh and weekends off!
But there was so much to do, to start!!! I was starting to work 10–12 hours a day — and weekends!! I was thinking, ‘stuff this, this is not what I thought running a business would be like. Why did I leave a nice safe secure job?’
Then I realised, I needed a system in my business and I needed staff. That added more hours to the day to systemise it and train staff.
But the realisation was — I should have done this at the start. So let’s restart again.
All of a sudden my work day went from 10 -12 hours to about 4–5 hours and I had time for myself and family and ‘thinking strategically’ time.
What do you think makes your company stand out? Can you share a story?
Accountability. People don’t like the word, however accountability with Integrity is our standout value. We do what we say we will, and expect everyone surrounding us to do the same. That must come with integrity though. Through Accountability our clients are obtaining some amazing results.
Early on in Business — a client overpaid us. We were desperate at that time in our business, and strapped for cash. I so wanted to keep that extra money, but knew it was wrong. We rang the client, let them know, and transferred the money back into their account.
They have gone on to become one of our best clients, in value and continued business that has paid us handsomely. And we have returned the value because his business is now thriving
Every Business owner must learn and implement the 4 x D’s when it comes to decision making so they don’t burn out
- Do it
- Delegate it
- Dump it
- Defer it
None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story?
I said we were 4 days away from leaving the UK. It was the discussion we had with Jessen over dinner, 4 days before we were due to leave the UK that changed our world — literally. Not too many people could make a decision like we did, of that magnitude, with 4 days to go. Jessen helped us with that and has become our mentor and guide.
Ok thank you for all that. Now let’s shift to the main focus of this interview. Delegating effectively is a challenge for many leaders. Let’s put first things first. Can you help articulate to our readers a few reasons why delegating is such an important skill for a leader or a business owner to develop?
You can’t run a business by doing it all yourself. You must employ the help of others. A great business means work must be done through others.
To delegate means:
- You have to train your employees;
- They must know exactly what is expected of them
- What their KPI’s are that they are to achieve
- Hold them accountable for those expectations
- Reward and recognise them when they are achieving and making you money for you business
It’s also about having those courageous conversations when staff aren’t doing what is expected of them, because you can’t delegate when they’re not doing what is required. A courageous conversation needs to happen sooner rather that later. Don’t defer it, the situation will only manifest itself into something worse
Can you help articulate a few of the reasons why delegating is such a challenge for so many people?
Business owners are scared to make decisions or will abdicate their responsibility.
They don’t detach themselves from the outcome and are scared of the perceived consequences of the potential fall-out
It is about the 4 x D’s as described above
- Defer it
- Delegate it
- Do it
- Dump it
In your opinion, what pivots need to be made, either in perspective or in work habits, to help alleviate some of the challenges you mentioned?
There must be Accountability and Focus, throughout the Business. This is top down stuff. I believe strongly in the “Line of Choice”
Playing below the line means you Blame, use excuses or are in denial of the consequences if you don’t take action.
Playing above the line means you’re Responsible and Accountable for your actions and you take Ownership, because it is your Own Ship.
Can you please share your “Five Things You Need To Know To Delegate Effectively and Be Completely Satisfied With the Results?” Please share a story or an example for each.
There are 7 Keys to a winning team so you can delegate effectively and obtain the results you richly deserve
- Strong Leadership
Time to take control of your business and be effective, not efficient
2. Common Goals
You and the team must we moving in the same direction and they need to know and understand what the goals are that they are accountable for
3. Rules of the Games
These rules must be articulated and enacted so everyone in the business knows what the parameters are that they are working within
4. Action Plan
There must be an Action Plan that people are held accountable for so they can measure their performance and know what they are achieving
5. Support Risk Taking
Being able to mitigate risk as much as possible, and then not be scared to try something different
6. 100% Involvement
To have a winning business everyone must be on board and travelling in the same direction. Everyone must have the same common belief and believe their input actually matters
7. Train and train
Never give up training staff. It is important to the success of your business
One of the obstacles to proper delegating is the oft quoted cliche “If you want something done right do it yourself.” Is this saying true? Is it false? Is there a way to reconcile it with the importance of delegating?
Yes it is true.
We as Business Owners have a perception “Only I can do it perfectly because the business is my baby.” And this is true to a certain extent because you have a vested interest in the business, your employees don’t (unless they are on profit share)
So ask yourself
If person does it 95% Ok — would that be alright
If person does it 90% Ok — would that be alright
If person does it 85% Ok — would that be alright
If person does it 80% Ok — would that be alright
You will get to a number where it is no longer acceptable. This is your bench-mark that is acceptable.
Now go and train them and train them and give them KPI’s so you increase this percentage, so they become better employees and you receive better results and make even more money.
Thank you for all of that. We are nearly done. You are a person of great influence. If you could start a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂
The movement would be:
- Where people are honest with themselves and each other
- They have integrity to do what they say they will
- Greed would be eliminated.
- We help our fellow human beings
- Tithe 10% of our income to a place where our money makes a difference
- Accountable for our Actions
How can our readers further follow you online?
This was very inspiring. Thank you so much for the time you spent with this!