Business mentor Paul Farmer

It’s interesting how we have our own view of what it means to be a leader, and what we get to do when we are that leader. We ran a strategy day where three senior management team “leaders” were put in charge of a team each. One took control of the situation and ran the activity their way by controlling the outcome. One facilitated and took ideas from their team members but still did it their way, again heavily controlling the outcome. The last leader chose to brief the team and then asked the team to take on responsibility for delivering the outcome, giving them an opportunity to lean in and it was “their baby”. Which of these styles resonate with you as a leader? Which would provide the most opportunity to grow for the team?

Show me one person who enjoys being told what to do, especially if it’s not their preferred way to get it done. “I want you to do this, do it this way and have it back to me tonight so I can fix up any errors before I send it off “… I’ve heard this so often and it’s so yesterday’s way. The Ultimate Business Strategy is to empower team members to make more quality decisions, to take ownership for their space and be self accountable for activities… thus building trust and allowing you to take your hands off the wheel. 

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So how do we get out of our own way to prevent micromanagement and promote growth and learning?

Here are some simple and powerful tips:

  • You still have ultimate control 
    Stepping aside to have others take on projects and activities is challenging, if you need to be in control of everything. Where you choose to let go and have others take on activities, you realise you still retain ultimate responsibility for the work. You can assign control of activities and retain ultimate control at the same time… effective delegation will help you do this. 
  • Let the kids play = Building trust 
    You work with quality people with specialist skills to add value in areas you need to boost. You then ask them to take on activities which you support them to deliver… openly acknowledging them for successful process delivery and discussing learnings where the results aren’t aligned with expectations. You build confidence, You build street smarts, You empower and You speed up the building of trust… all the while boosting the quality of the decision making process and creating opportunities for your team to take on more of your activities.
  • Create Context and set clear Expectations early    
    How do you learn about the capabilities of your people if you choose to not let them show you. Set clear expectations up front for what you are looking to achieve and why it matters…then step to the side and back their ability to deliver. Your role is to support them along the way and also build your knowledge through learning from them. After all… we don’t have all the answers do we.

Team members want senior leaders, those they look up to and follow, to trust them. Trust them enough to give them opportunities to feel they are being invested in and given a chance to shine… “the boss is giving me some different work and some responsibility so I must be doing a great job”. Set the context, set the expectations, pump their tyres up and let them get on with things. This will create space for you to step in to the role you actually want to be doing… this is super powerful wouldn’t you agree ?

This week, ask the question “Who is the person to take this on” and check your responses. Are you able to make a different decision and get on the road to building that trust and creating more flexibility in your own space…. I’m backing you can do it !!!

Share this with those who you know want to create quality outcomes. To learn how to build this in to your business, click on the button above and let’s chat about how you can make this happen. That may be the best decision you make this morning.

Have an awesome week and look forward to connecting soon.