Category Archives for "Project Management"

Dictate Outcomes, Not Processes

Have you ever asked your team to do something, even told them exactly how to accomplish it, only to have them blow it and not do what you asked?  You don’t get the result you want, they end up frustrated, and no one is happy?

Yeah, that’s a pretty common scenario.

You see, as an entrepreneur, in the early days, odds are good you wore many hats. You did all the tasks by yourself and developed your own way of doing things. Click To Tweet

Maybe you started out as an expert in other areas, or maybe you taught yourself. Either way, you’ve done the job and know how you want it done.

Right?

Let me share another possibility.

You tell your team what you want done, and, this time, instead of telling them how you want it done, you tell them why you want it done. You share with them the big picture. You let them know what you’ll be doing with what they create and why it’s important that you have it.

You let them go and see what they accomplish. You trust your team. You know you chose them to be on your team for a reason, and you are going to allow them the space to show you what they can do.

They come back a couple days later, on deadline, with the finished product. It looks different than you expected it to. Instead of reacting to that, you ask them about it. You allow them to tell you what they’ve done and why.

To your surprise, they actually gave you exactly what you asked for. They just did it their way.

And, as you look at the finished product you realize, what they gave you is better than what you had in mind. They found new ways of presenting the information. They used tools you aren’t familiar with. They provided some additional data that you can use as you grow and scale.

They were aware of tools and techniques that you weren’t. Maybe it wasn’t available when you were doing the work, or maybe they just know different routes to get there.

Either way, you got a much better result by letting them know what you need and what you want to do with it than you ever could have by dictating how it gets done.

You did your homework when you hired your team. You researched them, interviewed them, you sorted for people who had the qualities you need on your team and the skills you need for their position.

Now it’s time to let them shine.

Here are 4 steps to delegating the outcome without dictating the process:

 

  • Focus on the outcome, not the process. Make sure you explain what outcome you are looking for. Give them the why instead of the how.
  • Ask them if they have any questions before beginning work on the task. Let them tell you what else they need to effectively do what you’re asking them. Give them the chance to get everything they need up front so they don’t do something wrong or incompletely.
  • Clearly convey the format you would like the final product to come in. Whether it’s a spreadsheet, a completed PDF, a calendar or some other format, be very clear about what you would like to see as the deliverable.
  • Stop yourself before you go too far. Pay attention to your language. If you notice yourself saying things like “you can do it this way” or “first go here” or something similar, you are falling into old habits. Keep focused on the outcome, not the process.

 

By giving your team the room to excel, you are allowing them, and your business, the highest chance for success. Even if you can decide on the exact process for every task, is that really where your time is best spent? Is that where your business needs you to direct your energy?

Probably not.

Your business needs you operating in your area of genius. And your team needs to be allowed to operate in theirs. By giving your team the room to deliver exactly what you ask of them you make room for your business to grow and scale. And you never know…you just might be surprised!