LEVEL 4 PROJECT: LEADING YOUR TEAM

Speech Title: 60 Artists, 400 Designs, 6 Finalists… But Only 1 Book Cover

Description: This morning, Curtis will share what he learned while leading 60 artists to create the perfect book cover.

Objectives:

  • Reduce filler words
  • Use vocal variety
  • Add spacing / pauses to connect with audience
  • Make the speech interesting

—–

I love to learn and study and master new skills. I also love to be in control. There is almost nothing you can’t achieve with the proper knowledge, skills, and hard work. Early on, if someone offered me 1 MILLION Dollars cash or the knowledge & resources to earn 1 MILLION Dollars, I would have chosen the knowledge without thinking twice.

I’ve owned businesses in multiple industries, and I’ve employed more skilled individuals than I can count. In previous speeches, I mentioned that I owned a cosmetic medical LASER franchise, a white label pharmaceutical company, a Christian clothing company, a Nationwide telecommunications provider, and a dozen businesses in various industries. Still, my Achilles heel has always been delegation.

I’m a recovering control freak. For all my life, I’ve been a perfectionist (to a fault).

Time To Reshape My Thinking & Relinquish Control

How do you manage a project with 60 different creative professionals, without freaking out or feeling like you’ve lost control of the project?

DELEGATION

Delegation is the assignment of a task to other team members. Clear communication is essential to successful delegation.

One of the main problems I used to have with delegating a task was communicating EXACTLY what I wanted. 

I’m finally beginning to realize I can’t be the best at absolutely everything. Delegating tasks to others who are more skilled than I am, is what I’m working on now.

I recently self-published my 4th book that reached Best Seller status in 2 separate categories, and I even designed the book cover & marketing material myself. I felt like I was doing great, but I received feedback from a highly respected book promoter who has moved literally millions of books.

What was her feedback about the book cover I created? She said, “It Screams. Self-Published.” I have a ton of respect for this woman, and that was my sign. I needed to hire an expert.

For this project, I used a company called 99designs to create a contest where professional graphic artists could submit design proposals. The first step of successful delegation is providing very detailed instructions. 

I’ve learned, the quickest way to get the best results is to make sure team members aren’t forced to guess what you want them to do. I also decided to give them the freedom to do what they do best.

I learned that providing positive feedback on what the team is doing well was a great way to help each artist refine their designs to come up with (8) masterpiece book covers.

I wanted to choose the winner myself, but I created a poll to invite over 10,000 readers to vote and give feedback on their favorite design using the same goal of delegating the decision-making.

I am blown away by the results. We still have a day left in the design competition, but I’ve already received over 400 designs from more than 60 artists, & voters have narrowed the choices down to 6 finalists. 

By this time Wednesday, I should have the perfect book cover. Let me show you a few of my favorites!

Now, this speech wasn’t about a book cover. It was about how delegating tasks & relinquishing control can allow us to get better results, and buy back some of our time as we learn to lead a team who are more skilled than we are in their area of expertise.

—–

SUMMARY OF COACHING RESPONSIBILITIES:

  • Describe your reasons for your actions.
  • Express your concern about the areas of performance you want improved.
  • Describe the impact this behavior has on others.
  • Acknowledge and listen to others.
  • Seek others’ opinions on their performance and behaviors.
  • Agree on the solution going forward.
  • Follow up to ensure accountability.
  • Praise positive results.