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Marketing Agency Exposed Podcast

Oct 7, 2020


Today we are talking about the challenges of learning to delegate effectively. We all know that freeing up our time to focus on the things that we specialize in is the ultimate way to be effective- nobody wants to be stuck doing things they hate, or things they don’t find purpose in or aren’t good at. But failure to delegate properly can result in burnout, and not just for you!  It’s the opposite of snapping orders. When the leader is overwhelmed and uninspired, the whole team feels it. So listen in as we dissect what it really means to delegate effectively- from hiring a team with delegation in mind to creating a list of things that only YOU can do- and creating a team built on strong working relationships, efficiency, and trust. 


Top 3  Curtain Pulls in this episode: 

  1. “If you want to grow, you’ve got to let it go.” While delegation can sometimes feel like taking a risk, it’s the only way to truly expand your business. Consider making a list of the things you SHOULD be doing, and work on firing yourself from the tasks that don’t align with that list over time.
  2. What can only you do? Keep a list of “Only I Can Do” and work to teach, hire, and delegate the rest.
  3. Delegation is the opposite of snapping orders. It’s an art that you must learn. It’s a critical skill of leadership. Delegation is about being self-aware, and teaching. It slows you down… at first. “You must slow down to scale up.” -Ancient Agency Exposed Proverb


For more tips, discussion, and behind the scenes:


About The Guys: 

Bob Hutchins: Founder of BuzzPlant, a digital agency that he ran from from 2000 -2017. He is also the author of 3 books. More on Bob: 

Brad Ayres: Founder of Anthem Republic, an award-winning ad agency. Brad’s knowledge has led some of the biggest brands in the world. Originally from Detroit, Brad is an OG in the ad agency world and has the wisdom and scars to prove it. Currently that knowledge is being applied to his boutique agency. More on Brad:

Ken Ott: Co-Founder and Chief Growth Rebel of Metacake, an Ecommerce Growth Team for some of the world’s most influential brands with a mission to Grow Brands That Matter. Ken is also an author, speaker, and was nominated for an Emmy for his acting on the Metacake Youtube Channel (not really). More on Ken: 


Show Notes:

[5:00] Bob talks about delegation, and how necessary the skill of delegation is to being able to scale your agency effectively. 

[6:00] Ken talks about how personality can impact your ability to delegate- hitting the sweet spot with the right person in the right role can be very challenging. “You have to delegate effectively in order to be able to scale something, in order to be good at life.” 


  • You can’t build something that goes beyond you if you can’t delegate effectively. 


[7:15] Brad talks about how delegating can feel like a risk, especially if you don’t trust the person to do as good a job as you can. Depends on the type of owner you are- some want to lead, to be visionaries and don’t care to get into the weeds, others begin a business as a jack of all trades and slowly grow. This second type can find delegating particularly difficult. “You’ve gotta let it go to grow!” 

[9:37] Ken talks about what jobs you do, and slowly firing yourself from the things that others can do. Delegation speeds things up, but in the beginning it slows things down. 

[10:40] Brad: Processes will aid in delegation, so those two should be thought about at the same time. 

[11:30] Bob asks about the correlation between delegation and outsourcing vs hiring another employee, contractors, etc. Are they the same thing or not? 

[11:45] Brad views it as taking people on your current team and looking at where their skillsets are, then teaching them those skills that will help relieve some of your responsibilities. 

[12:21] Ken says that in some ways, outsourcing is a form of delegation. “A more defined way of delegating something is hiring a professional who already does that thing… the art of delegation and the personal growth attached to it doesn’t come from outsourcing…”

[14:00] Bob talks about working with high-level CEO’s who are masters of delegation. They’re able to take what feel like monumental tasks and set them up as a clear line of success. 

[15:35] Ken talks about trust being the key factor in delegating. Step One is finding the right people- “If you want to scale, you have to hire people that are trustworthy and competent and capable of taking care of the role, the skill, the things that you trust them to do.” 

[15:30] Brad gives 3 things that he struggles with in being able to delegate tasks to someone. 


  • Will they do something incorrectly and cause a risk to our company? 
  • Would I overwhelm them and can they handle that amount of work?
  • Is this thing something that I enjoy in the business? Grappling with the parts that take up time but others can do just as well...


[18:00] Bob talks about building a team with delegation in mind. Preparing in advance for who you will need in your organization and how their personalities will fit into the roles that you need filled. 

[19:00] Ken says that you should ask yourself “Is there something going on in life/business that is capping my growth?” 

  • Delegation is an art, and it’s an art that you need to pursue. And ultimately there will be some micromanaging in the beginning that requires practice to delegate. 

[21:07] Brad says that often after you back off and let someone have the freedom to do things their way, they will do what you’ve asked in new ways. 

[24:00] Ken talks about the idea of beginning with a virtual assistant, because it requires you to document a process for someone and then hand it off. 

[25:40] Brad asks about how to decide what it is that you can delegate- starting with the concept of what only YOU can do. And whatever shakes out of that question is where you should begin to delegate. 

[27:00] Ken talks about how sometimes, knowing a little bit about a lot of things can make it difficult to pare down that decision making process. And being under stress can create even more retraction from asking for help, just sinking inward and trying to take on the world on your own. 

  • Having a mentor can help with that, can call it out and create a change in behavior patterns as it’s going on instead of in hindsight.

[29:30] Brad emphasizes that we’re not talking about the type of delegating that takes you out of the business completely, rather delegation that frees you up to focus more on the things that REALLY matter and that ONLY YOU can do. 

  • Asks Bob how his relationship with delegation has changed through his business experience. 

[29:50] Bob says that deciding what you want to delegate, what you should delegate, what’s on the table to delegate, etc helps to provide clarity. And ultimately, that process takes time. 

  • In a corporate environment, it's easier to delegate because there are already resources, staff, and processes in place. Downside is that this can hamper creativity. 
  • In an entrepreneurial environment, the processes have to be documented and created. 
  • Ultimately, finding what you SHOULD and CAN do is different than what you COULD do. There’s a balance to find there, and following your passion is the best filter to apply. 

[33:52] Ken asks Bob what the things are that he sticks with. 

  • Big picture things and the way that the dots connect, that is where Bob brings the most passion and value to the day to day activities of his business. 

[35:00] Ken asks Bob about the things he always delegates. 

  • Bob: “Things I don’t like, things I’m not good at.” He says this part takes a lot of self-awareness. There are often people who can do things MUCH better than you can. 
  • Bob says that it is equally as valid to outsource your stress!

[36:21] Ken talks again about how important it is to find people that you can trust to take over these tasks. 

  • He talks about being excited by tasks that are challenging, by breaking down the things that we perceive as boundaries.
  • “These days my goal is to be delegating… anything that’s not specifically vision-related.”
  • Ken talks about the importance of having the right people in the right seats to make things run smoothly. 

[40:30] Brad talks about the things he enjoys most that he tries to keep for himself- he’s very good at understanding human behaviors when it comes to decision-making in marketing and advertising. “I can see not just the beginning of the customer journey, but every way down the road… I’m always thinking a bit more forward.” 

  • In asking lots of questions he can sometimes jump around in the process and sometimes create a mess, so learning to trust the people he’s hired to take care of those details in the right timing has been important. 

[42:50] Ken talks about content creation and having the time and mental space to be that vision in your company. Recently Metacake has put out a lot of new content, and the key is “how do you scale something that is the soul of a brand?” 

  • Delegating is important more than ever at this time! Not making space for doing what you’re best at means burnout and lower work quality. 

[45:43] Bob asks about tools that The Guys have done to help with delegation.

[45:47] Ken says that his team uses the DISC personality test to help get to know your employees and delegate tasks accordingly. 

[46:49] Brad says that the best tool is a human person with strong skills who can be trained and hold themselves accountable for moving things forward. Anthem uses Asana for project management.

[47:38] Ken talks about identifying people’s top 3 main roles when they start, the 3 areas that they’re going to work within. Also, in identifying your list of things to delegate out first, you can write it down EXACTLY as you would do it, and train someone else to do the same. 

[50:29] Ken continues: “The only way you can scale as a company is if you scale organizationally.” 

[51:54] Bob clarifies that we are not talking about the stereotypical boss/assistant role. Delegation is not about lesser-than people who are doing the dirty work, but people coming together to create a well-oiled organism. 

  • “Whatever you’re passionate about, do that really well and don’t try to be somebody you’re not… integrate closely with people who are good at the things you’re not.” 

[53:10] Ken talks about how delegation means truly allowing someone to be the authority in that place. Requiring check-ins frequently to get things done doesn’t work, and isn’t effective delegation.