So many of our clients come to us feeling exhausted. These are business owners that have a whole team supporting them and help run the business – but just as long as they are told exactly what to do. What’s the result? Double work for the business owner.

Learning to effectively delegate is tricky and it’s definitely a skill that takes time to perfect. The good news is that you are not alone!

If you are one of those who are used to working all day while handing off the work to the team, you can’t miss this article because we are about to tell you the reasons why you need to stop delegating tasks and start delegating outcomes instead!

So keep on reading! 


How to use outcome delegation to empower your team


Amalie: We’ve talked about the difference between tasking and delegating. But this is important. The outcome delegation is important because what you’re doing is empowering the members of your team to take full responsibility for the process and the outcome, and letting them be responsible for refining the process; basically walking through it, letting them report back to you, if something’s not working, giving them the responsibility finding a better way to do it, basically just giving them the whole ownership of whatever that process is or that task. And then, ultimately whoever’s in charge of it, you’re empowering them to be in charge of the whole thing, not just telling them, “do this one thing, come back to me when you’re done, do this one thing, come back to me when you’re done.” 


Janine: The thing that occurred to me, is that the next step in that is ideally you don’t have to do much explaining and you just tell them the outcome you want and they go, “I got it.” Because ultimately you want to be surrounding yourself with experts; whether that’s by bringing on new experts or giving your team members what they need to grow into becoming that person who is so expert at it. They understand that’s literally their job.


Amalie: So when you hire people, you kind of make a decision. You’re either going to hire someone that you’re gonna train into the position and they’ll achieve it, or you’re going to hire someone that’s already the expert. Maybe the person that you hire has the potential or the personality, they just need the training to actually do the physical task. Even if they are an expert, they’re still gonna need to be trained on your processes, the way you do business, all of those things, so you do need to give them time. 

The way to achieve effective delegation is to have clear and recorded processes, and to have effective training. So you want to have the training that allows the person to be integrated onto your team and into your day to day operations, that would come from a refined onboarding process. Then once they’re integrated, you can tell them your expectations. It needs to have clear expectations and the responsibility. 


What you need to do to surround yourself with experts


Janine: Make sure you have checking points because sometimes people are afraid of failure or disappointment, so you want to make sure that you’re checking in with them and they’re not stuck somewhere. And you can give small guidance adjustments rather than have them come to you feeling like they failed. It’s really your job to help them succeed.


Amalie:  As we’ve broken down the business hierarchy of needs series, it’s important to understand that where we’re at right now is the operations part, but there are a lot of things that come before that. So where we’re at right now is where you as the business owner or CEO needs to take a step back and really take a critical look at yourself and your team and operations. The outcome delegation starts with you as the business owner to make sure that you’re doing that and you are delegating the outcome because ultimately if you’re not, then you are tied to your position. You cannot leave because ultimately you’re the only one that’s doing the tasking versus the delegating, which means your business will always need you in it, and it will never be able to operate without you.


Janine: To put this in the context, there are five levels with the business hierarchy of needs. Each level has five particular needs within it. The bottom line is sales: you have to have sales to be a business. The next one is profit: you can sell a lot, but if you’re not profiting, you’re just going to dig a hole for yourself and your company and it’s ultimately going to fail. And those things, the whole concept behind the business hierarchy of needs Is that the lowest level thing that’s holding your business needs to be established before you can move on to the next one. Otherwise you have an inherent weakness that’s going to lead to failure. So those things, sales and profitability have to be well established by the time you get to what we’re talking about today with the outcome delegations.


The biggest reason why you need refined processes


Amalie: When you can refine your operations and it is running on its own, you can really step into that role where you’re giving yourself some distance from the day to day operations and the forward-looking of the business, and it allows you to grow and it allows you to see the bigger picture. If you’re still knee deep in the shit running everything, you’re really not at a place where you can look beyond that. And if you’re constantly looking behind you then there’s no way for you to look forward, and as the CEO that’s your job. That is literally your job, to look forward to what’s next for the business and getting reports from the trenches of what’s going on, but it’s not your job to be in it constantly.


Janine: The reason why order becomes important  is because business owners have been wearing all the hats at the beginning. They start delegating, building a team and delegating as sales and profitability becomes more apparent and growth starts to occur. But, as you’re saying, that ability to step away is important. I just like to bring this up because people don’t usually think about it. Most people love what they’re doing and they’re very passionate. But the hard facts are people get sick, you get hit by a car, random things happen all the time, and instilling this order in your company, not making yourself the key point of failure, is vital to your financial security.


Amalie: And that goes for your team members as well. Making sure that they covered down on each other, making sure that people know other people’s roles, and that there are recorded processes, so that there’s constantly someone that can fill in for the other person.

Just to reiterate, the point is you’re not just delegating how the thing gets done. You’re delegating, “this is the goal I want.” So if you give someone an SOP, you are saying, “this is the process that you’re doing.” 


Janine: But the purpose of this step is that you’re giving them the responsibility for the outcome, right? The SOP is the tool in order to be able to accomplish that.


Amalie: And if you already have an SOP, then you would give them the SOP, but then they become responsible for refining it. But if there is no SOP, then you would delegate the how, “I want to podcast produce and I need a process written for it.” And then you just let them go do it.

But if you already have an SOP, you would give them the SOP and then let them know that if there’s a better way to do things they need to refine that process and make it better. 

Ultimately, I think that the way to achieve this is to remember that people, if they haven’t already written a process or done that before, will need some training, so you have to give them time to learn it. 

And if you have an operations person, that operations person can support the team members in training them on how to do it, it doesn’t necessarily need to be the business owner or the CEO.

And that’s something that we do: we come in as consultants and as coaches and we help business owners, CEOs, and their team members evaluate their processes. So, if you don’t have someone in the business that can do it, bring someone from the outside that’s ideal because you really need someone that has that sort of structured mindset, especially being remote.


In conclusion…


Amalie: The outcome delegation really starts with the business owner, CEO, it starts with you; it starts with evaluating yourself and how you give out the tasks and activities in your operation. Ask yourself: am I tasking or am I actually delegating? And understanding that if you’re tasking, it’s fine, but in order to be able to have the business run on its own and run while you’re not there and continue the operations, you really need to delegate. And that’s important because as your business grows, it is going to need you to be in the CEO role, the looking forward, the setting the next big goal, or setting the vision for the business. And if you’re still in the day to day operations, tasking and not delegating, you’re not going to be able to achieve that. It’s not possible.


And that’s it for today! We hope this interview has been as helpful to you as it was to us. See you on the next episode!


To listen to the full episode click here.


Other resources:

The Secrets to Delegating Effectively


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