Exercising strong control rarely leads to better performance. In fact, being a control freak insures that nothing can get done without your involvement. If you want to have a growing business too much control is not the way to achieve it.
Many of my business owners in Westchester County New York have learned the importance of delegation to business growth. Once you decide to add just one new employee your main job is not control but getting others to do what needs to be done. If you don’t let go, you will be seen as a micro manager. This will actually de motivate your team and guarantee that you will do everything yourself.
Why is this problematic? Let me ask another question. Why did you hire another person to begin with? The answer is that you wanted to be able to grow your business. But if you don’t get out of the way, then you will not grow.
Here are the unintended consequences of over control:
You hire a new employee but you are slow to let the employee try too many things. There comes a time when your new employee asks a question such as how to complete a project. But you might answer, “Don't worry. I'll take care of that. It's kind of complicated.”
Now before long you feel that the staff member “is not working out” because you have to do everything yourself. You assume that the staff member knows what needs to be done. But instead of training and empowering him or her you are still busy working on the minutia of the business details.
If you are that manager, executive, or business owner here is how to fix it. 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. Don’t watch over every detail.
Instead of wading in all of the details and the minutia keep your eye on the direction of your department or company and your overall results. Set up overarching monitors and measurements to check the performance. 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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