Business leaders are proactive individuals. So, the need to interfere can be compelling! And yet, to micro-manage is to stifle creativity. More than that, we risk disenfranchising members of our leadership team. And we risk losing the good will of our people.
We know that’s not how people learn or how they progress. At least we ought to be aware of that fact! We all need the opportunity to digest new information and then experiment with it. We must be allowed to experience the confusion and uncertainty that comes with figuring out what works; and what doesn’t. Moreover, we need to be allowed to make mistakes; to work out what went wrong and how to put that right.
On reflection, I think that’s why I learned so much from my early retail days. It was a fantastic opportunity to experiment. And I could discover my natural way of working; before I was expected to know anything.
As leaders we have a duty of care to our employees; to create an environment that is conducive to them doing their best work. Otherwise, why employ them?
If you want to hold onto all the responsibility, and do everything yourself, you’re wasting talent. In doing so, you’re underestimating the wealth of skill and ability in your employ.
You’re smart enough to have recruited good people. So don’t hold back from maximising their full potential. In fact, do everything in your power to help them deliver a personal best performance every single day. That isn’t a waste of your time, believe me. There really aren’t many more important things you should be doing.
Management should be about building trust and confidence in people. As a result, they can deliver on high expectations; with the belief that they do have what it takes to make a meaningful contribution.
The task driven work can wait until later in the day; or maybe you get it done before everyone troops into the office. Meetings and calls are important because you’re connecting with people. And done in the right way they will take great inspiration from what you have to say. What they then achieve, for and with you, will surpass what you can deliver from behind a desk, with the door closed.