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21 December 2023

Delegating Tasks vs Outcomes for Leadership Excellence

Delegating Tasks vs Outcomes for Leadership Excellence - The Value Engine

In my work with various clients, I often encounter a common stumbling block in the area of effective delegation. This challenge is particularly prevalent in leadership roles, whether you’re heading up a small team or overseeing a large organisation. The distinction between delegating tasks and outcomes is a critical aspect for fostering a dynamic and efficient workplace. In our Growth Supercharger Programme, we emphasise the importance of this distinction, alongside the clarity in ownership and defining end outcomes, as a crucial component of leadership development.

Understanding the Difference

Delegating Tasks

This approach involves assigning specific actions or procedures, concentrating on the ‘how’ of execution. While it ensures adherence to processes, it may restrict the team’s creativity and initiative.

Delegating Outcomes

In contrast, delegating outcomes focuses on setting goals or objectives without dictating the methods to achieve them. This empowers team members to utilise their skills and creativity more effectively.

The Importance of Clarity and Ownership

Clear Definitions of Responsibility

Being explicit about who owns which part of a project is vital. Clear responsibilities prevent overlaps and confusion, ensuring each team member understands their role and duties.

Defining the End Outcome

Clearly articulating the desired end outcome is crucial. This includes outlining the objectives, expectations, and success criteria, giving team members a clear target to work towards.

How to Delegate Effectively

1. Understand Your Team’s Capabilities

Knowing your team’s strengths and weaknesses is key to effective delegation. This ensures appropriate tasks and outcomes are assigned to the right individuals.

2. Communicate with Clarity

Eliminate ambiguity by communicating responsibilities and expected outcomes clearly and precisely.

3. Establish Ownership

Assign clear ownership of tasks and outcomes, empowering individuals to make decisions and take responsibility for results.

4. Set Clear Expectations and Metrics

Define what success looks like and establish measurable goals for tracking progress.

5. Support Without Micromanaging

Offer the necessary guidance and resources, but allow for independent problem-solving and decision-making.

6. Regular Updates and Feedback

Maintain a system of check-ins to monitor progress, provide support, and make necessary adjustments.

7. Recognise Achievements

Acknowledge and celebrate successes, reinforcing the value of effective delegation and team collaboration.


Mastering the art of delegation is a pivotal element in leadership. It’s about more than just distributing tasks; it’s about empowering your team through clarity in ownership and objectives. By focusing on delegating outcomes and clearly defining responsibilities and goals, you pave the way for a more empowered, innovative, and effective team. This approach forms a key pillar of our Growth Supercharger Programme, where we assist leaders in refining their delegation strategies and building robust leadership teams. If you’re keen to enhance your leadership skills and gain clarity on outcomes and ownership, please get in touch to discuss how our programme can help supercharge your growth.


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