It is important that a leader exercise proper control. However, if you exercise too much control you could hurt your business. But it can be tough to let go. Here is how it can happen.
A business is started by an owner with a vision to create a great product or service. The owner must spend much time working in the business to make sure that the product or service gets out, the money gets collected, and the bills get paid. That is very important for business survival.
The owner works hard IN the business. He or she must attend to every detail and, if he forgets one thing, it could be a disaster. The business owner spends most of his or her time working IN the business and virtually no time working ON the business.
Why is this problematic? When the owner starts the business he or she needs to do everything, or it does not get done. Sometimes there are time management issues. Usually the owner gets so busy that he hires someone else.
If the owner hires a new employee he or she will need to let go. Continuing to do everything is 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“, says the owner, “I'll take care of that. It's involved.”
Before long the owner says the employee is not working out because the owner must do everything. Whose fault is that?
The owner is still working IN the business. He or she believes that the person hired knows what needs to be done and is expected to do so. Besides the owner is still too busy working on the minutia of the business details. The owner must learn to let go, train, and delegate with confidence.
If you are that 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 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 measurement of business 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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