George S. Patton said, “Don't tell people how to do things, tell them what to do and let them surprise you with their results.”
As a business leader you need to be in control of your business BUT you don’t need to be a control freak. Taking that route leads to being overwhelmed. As a sole entrepreneur you, of course, need to control everything but once you decide to grow being a control freak will hold you back.
Once you hire employees your job becomes managing results of others rather than doing everything yourself. If you don’t do that effectively you will spend all of your time driving the fire truck and putting out fires. You’ll worry about how to do every detail but you will lose sight of the big picture.
Why is this problematic?
If you hire a new employee but continue to try to do everything without delegating, you are defeating the whole purpose of hiring help. For example, the new employee may ask a question or offer take on a project. “Don't worry “, you say, “I'll take care of that. It's involved.”
Before long you are frustrated because you have to do everything yourself and you wonder why your new employee is not catching on. In many cases, it is not the employee who isn’t catching on. Look at how you are managing.
First of all, make sure you are seeing the big picture and once you see the big picture share it with your employees. You might think that your employee knows what needs to be done. But how can that be if you don’t communicate desired results instead of getting so involved in the minutia. Let go, train, and delegate with confidence.
Here’s how. Engage your employee from the very first day. Explain, train, encourage, and ask for input. Once you are certain that the employee understands encourage him or her to make decisions on his or her area. Encourage the input. Then monitor. But gradually let go. Learn to look at key measurements that indicate the employee is on track such as number of calls answered, complaints resolved, orders processed, customer feedback and other key areas related to business outcomes. But don’t micro manage every detail.
Instead of watching the details and the minutia keep your eye on the direction of your company and your overall results. Set up overarching monitors and measurements to check the direction and success of your business. This measurement is your dashboard. Keep your eye on the dashboard instead of every little detail. Your dashboard helps you make sure that your people are performing the activities related to positive business outcomes. When you see a key business measurement change you can ask your employees why and ask how it will be corrected. You maintain control but you are not controlling. You have more important things to do such as promoting the growth of your business.
Get out of the way. Get out of the details. Let go, let them drive and watch your stress level decrease and your business grow.
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