Hans Phillips Of Ontoco: How To Delegate Effectively and Be Completely Satisfied With the Results
Make your expectations clear. Set the tone. Communicate the vision and values of the company. Manage people to all of the above.
As part of my series about the “How To Delegate Effectively and Be Completely Satisfied With the Results”, I had the pleasure of interviewing Hans Phillips from Ontoco.com.
Hans is an executive performance consultant working with people all over the world. He has 30 years and 30,000+ client hours of experience. His work is used in coach training and team training worldwide. His focus is practical application of work and life practices leading to an overall sense of satisfaction and empowerment, both personally and professionally.
Thank you so much for joining us in this interview series! Before we dive in, our readers would love to “get to know you” a bit better. Can you tell us a bit about your ‘backstory’ and how you got started?
I watched my father, who was a Fortune 500 executive, as I grew up. I noticed the impact he had, but also the price he paid for his position. He died at 50 YO, in a single car drunk driving accident. His community was devastated, but not surprised. He lived hard and played hard and it caught up with him. His funeral was a mixture of people who respected and admired him, people who partied with him and people he mentored. I made a vow to reach the level of success and influence he had, without paying the price he paid. I was an entrepreneur in my 20’s and discovered executive coaching through hiring people to support me and my wife in a business she started. I was fascinated by the amount of results the consultants and coaches got out of us. So much so that I joined a two year apprenticeship with my favorite coach, Tex Johnston, and began a lifelong career.
Can you tell us a story about the hard times that you faced when you first started your journey? Did you ever consider giving up? Where did you get the drive to continue even though things were so hard?
I have almost quit Ontoco.com four different times. Each time, the circumstances were dire. And each time I did consider giving up. I would have gone and gotten hired as an internal trainer or coach for a large company. But each time, there was a breakthrough and a clear indication I should keep going. So I did! My drive comes from my commitment to helping people realize their potential and have a great life. Whatever that means to them. I do the work on myself that I suggest to them, so I can come from a place of gratitude, grace and humility. It is not easy to be successful. It is not easy to pursue a life of excellence. However, the alternative, though easy, is not fun, satisfying or powerful. So the choice has always been clear.
Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lessons or ‘takeaways’ you learned from that?
I got 34 clients my second year. I was crushing it! But I was also working 70 hour weeks. And 20 of those hours were driving around to meet with clients! So I had the problems they did(stress, long hours, pushing, tired, etc.) and I was trying to coach them on how to have a great life with lots of breakthroughs, results and balance. What was I thinking!? I realized shortly after I got a permanent eye infection from pushing myself too hard that my job as a coach was to reinvent my relationship to time, love, money etc. And I was able to do that. And coaching from there was so much easier. My life became the laboratory for my experiments about work and my personal life. And I was able to bring the insights, tools and processes back to my clients and inspire them to find their own path to success.
What do you think makes your company stand out? Can you share a story?
I live what I teach. Most coaches don’t do this and then wonder why they have trouble getting clients. You have to be what you are talking about. You can’t fake being. You can’t fake being in the flow of life. You can’t fake having real success that leads to vitality, love and enthusiasm. I have been exploring how to enjoy the path to success and the experience of success. I can guide people to discover their unique path and then help them to deal with all the new consequences that occur.
Which tips would you recommend to your colleagues in your industry to help them to thrive and not “burn out”?
It’s so easy to buy into the idea that if I work harder and longer, then I will be successful sooner.
What coaches fail to realize is that if that were true, all their clients would be successful and would not be hiring them to get coached! So you have to practice what you preach. And you have to get out ahead of your clients in as many areas as possible. Take on your challenges so you can lead them in theirs. This includes time, money, love, family, self care, exercise, nutrition, communication, relationship, integrity, vision, time off, vulnerability, confidence, risk on purpose, motivation, purposeful work and more. Practice work life balance daily. Don’t work on weekends. Work a four day week. I worked a three day week for over ten years. That inspires you and the clients! Have a great life NOW so you would be proud to have your prospects and clients follow you around for a week. You don’t have to have a lot of money to have a great life. Find out how that is possible.
None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story?
I hired my coach’s coach. A guy named Jed Niederer from Eagles View. He was so far advanced for me at the time. It was like I hired Tiger Woods to teach me golf in my 5th year of playing. He was with me for a little under a year and I appreciate his patience and his time. I used to do most of the talking so he couldn’t be powerful with me. When I realized it, I began to practice showing up, sharing for a little bit and then SHUTTING UP. He was a delightful man and a powerful coach to CEO’s and I will always remember him fondly.
Ok thank you for all that. Now let’s shift to the main focus of this interview. Delegating effectively is a challenge for many leaders. Let’s put first things first. Can you help articulate to our readers a few reasons why delegating is such an important skill for a leader or a business owner to develop?
Most leaders are committed and high performing people. So they don’t mind doing everything there is to do to begin with. But then scaling becomes a problem. If you don’t take the time to train others and hire others who can do the training for you, you are stuck with a group of people you’re disappointed in and slow growth because you have to do it all and manage people to do the rest.
Can you help articulate a few of the reasons why delegating is such a challenge for so many people?
One of the reasons is they can’t understand why their people aren’t as focused and committed as they are. And they keep being disappointed in the results they get from them so they take it back on themselves. You also have to have high self worth to deserve support. It’s easier for insecure people to just do it all themselves. And if what I do defines me, then how can I give it away? Who will I be then? I help leaders get paid for who they are, their being, rather than what they do. They can only do so much. There are only so many hours in the day. That is not scalable. But how much can they delegate? How much can they empower and support? That is scalable and infinitely more interesting.
In your opinion, what pivots need to be made, either in perspective or in work habits, to help alleviate some of the challenges you mentioned?
The leader needs to be willing to play on a team. And NOT be the star player! If you are the smartest person on the team, it’s time to get some other players smarter than you. You limit yourself by being the source of the business. You want your team to take ownership and for you to be fine tuning, asking helpful questions, being in relationship and supporting growth. You want to become dispensable, which is hard for most leaders to understand. You want to move from ego to service. You want to support the vision without having to be the only voice in the room people are listening to.
Can you please share your “Five Things You Need To Know To Delegate Effectively and Be Completely Satisfied With the Results?” Please share a story or an example for each.
1. Serve the vision, not your ego or insecurity.
2. Take the time to train, coach and communicate effectively. Any problems along the way are YOUR problems. Resist the urge to blame your people. YOU hired them.
3. Demand excellence. If you are given something that is less than you want, say “Not bad. This is good. I need it to be excellent. Take some more time and see what you can do.” Don’t settle for less than excellent work. It trains your team in a way you don’t want them to be trained.
4. Appreciate your team. Take the time to appreciate the core qualities of the individuals on the team. Integrity, persistence, authenticity, independence, teamwork, optimism, etc. Focus on who they are being vs what they are doing. Ask your team members to appreciate each other. “Who has someone on the team they would like to appreciate?” Foster an environment of appreciation and support.
5. Make your expectations clear. Set the tone. Communicate the vision and values of the company. Manage people to all of the above.
One of the obstacles to proper delegating is the oft quoted cliche “If you want something done right do it yourself.” Is this saying true? Is it false? Is there a way to reconcile it with the importance of delegating?
As I said earlier, you cannot scale with this in mind. It is a trap for any leader who wants to grow. Train, coach and develop excellence in your people so they are worth delegating to. Then practice delegating effectively. You and they will both need to learn how to do this. It is not as simple as shoving something at someone and saying,”Do it.”. There are many components to successful delegation. Train yourself and your team so you are all good at it and delegating is seen as a part of the culture and success of the company.
Thank you for all of that. We are nearly done. You are a person of great influence. If you could start a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. :-)
It would be self care first and always. If we have a foundation of well being, we can access higher levels of performance and enjoyment in life and work. I have been practicing this for 30 years at Ontoco.com, and it works. It would change the world!
How can our readers further follow you online?
Ontoco.com is my website.
This was very inspiring. Thank you so much for the time you spent with this!