There’s one thing that a manager or entrepreneur can do that will cause their team to hate them and possibly despise every second they’re on the clock.
And once you fix this one thing, you’re more likely to have a positive impact on your teams morale and influence the corporate culture in a positive way.
In fact, this understanding (giving your team the freedom to execute) can help your business thrive as your team will respect you more and be able to execute at a higher level.
It’s a simple commitment of not being a control freak.
It sounds simple but it’s hard. I’ve been on both sides of this and have finally figured out how to effectively remove this from my faults. This is a lesson that too many managers learn when they’re already close to retiring rather than learning in the early days of their career.
And today, I’m going to share with you a few key tactics that will help you contain yourself in moments where you want to take control over a project.
Understand that doing things differently isn’t a bad thing
When you delegate tasks to other people, you have to expect them to do things their own way. No matter how much training or materials you offer someone, it’s always going to be slightly different from what you originally expected.
Everyone does things differently. You might believe that your approach is better but unless you can clearly identify why your approach is better, don’t mention it. Let them do the work using their own approach and only help them when things are going off the rails.
Focus on the big picture rather than the little things
One of the biggest mistakes some managers and entrepreneurs make is getting caught up in the weeds rather than focusing on the big picture.
You’ve hired someone to manage SEO, let them do it.
You’ve hired someone to create content, let them do it.
You’ve hired someone to do customer service, let them do it.
It’s so easy to get caught up in the minor details of an issue but it rarely provides the result you intended. The employee feels as if you’re micromanaging their work and will question their actions on a more regular basis.
Rather than focusing on the tiny things that truly don’t matter, focus on the big picture. Focus on giving them overarching goals and allowing them to be creative with their approach. This arms them with a sense of empowerment and distances you from the little things.
Give feedback that will drive positive actions in the future
If someone messes up, let them know but do it respectfully and one-to-one. If the person knows they messed up, you don’t need to focus on the issue and problem – you need to focus on the strategy and learnings that will help them grow in the future.
What was the reason they didn’t achieve a certain goal? What was the reason they failed?
Seek out these answers on your own to start but look to them to answer them before sharing your thoughts. Understanding their perspective will help you in understanding how the situation rolled out and also help you in figuring out the best process for ensuring it doesn’t happen again in the future.
Show them the path to success, don’t tell them about it
The image above is one that has been shared thousands of times online.
It’s an image that demonstrates the importance of showing your employees how to be successful rather than simply talking to them about it.
One of my favourite inspirational posters is from Joey Roth and it describes the difference between a Charlatan, Martyr and Hustler. It describes the Charlatan as someone who talks a lot and does a little, a Martyr as someone who works a lot but rarely talks and a hustler who talks the talk and walks the walk.
Strive to be a hustler. Share insights through your word and success through your actions.
Don’t make excuses for your own behavior
One of the stupidest things a manager can do is call themselves a control freak.
If you think of yourself as a control freak, it’s time to adjust your thinking immediately. Because in reality, you’re actually suffering from one of the following things: (1) you’re insecure, (2) you don’t trust your team, or (3) you don’t know how to prioritize your own time.
Don’t use “I’m a Control Freak” as an excuse for your inability to be a good manager. Instead, recognize what’s really fuelling your actions to jump in when you’re not supposed to and look for ways to fix the situation. It’s not going to be easy but it’s going to be worth it.
Your teams success is your success.
Don’t feel as if you need to execute things to be successful in your role. You don’t need to do the little things anymore. Instead, you need to offer the environment and situations for your team to work at their highest level.