One of the main things I learned in these years as a manager is that you should not always look out for your team.
Entrepreneurs and managers tend too often to step into the work of their peers to explain step by step what needs to be done.
The reality shows us that most of the time, the people we hire or have as colleague can do the job way better than us.
In most occasions, you probably have hired an expensive specialist after rounds and rounds of interviews to find the best candidate that fit your needs.
But we are too often stepping in the work life of our peers.
Think about it for a moment: most of us today go to a physician to find yourself explaining him/her you found on Google the reasons of your back pain and can also start recommending the drugs s/he should prescribe you. What a bad habit we are about to get into!
Now think about it for a moment: if the doctor is following step-by-step your suggestions, you will most likely end up thinking that he did not do his/her work really well, because YOU were the “expert”.
The main point here is that too often managers or leaders are confronted with the leadership dilemma: when does one stop to assist your team and is able to effectivley delegate key activities to team mates ?
In brief, the more you try to step in every day activities the less you are able to ensure your business succeed.
Just a couple of days ago, a colleague asked me what I could do to make my teams make the best out of their expertise.
So let me try to explain it with an experiment.
This is actually my 6 years old son that typed his name on my laptop while writing this article. For the record, he just started his first grade school and learned his name’s letters.
I did not point him each letter on the keyboard, but I asked him to try just type his name using the keyboard.
I explained him the process, which goes as pressing one letter at a time. I explained him the tool, which goes under the name of “keyboard”. Then I explained him, the “person”, must do the task!
Of course, the result is far from perfect. But anyway you can read his name, and this was my goal. You can tell it, no upper-case, lots of repetition, but in the end he nailed it. That’s his name!
He’s not a genious of course, but this shows briefly what anyone confrontend with a goal can achieve.
Basically, what I want to prove here is that anybody, given a well explained goal and empowered with right processes and tools, can accomplish with minimal guidance.
In many ways, this is what many of us enterpreneurs or managers, are faced every day.
My take on this is that we shall avoid to step inside the way that our team mates (or well paid specialist) are doing their work because what we end up is that we mostly loose sight on what is our real goal. Nothing to blame here, everyone has it’s management style, but assisting a team in their day-to-day life, can be a very time consuming activity, and in the end is not the most efficient way.
If you like your business to scale up and be profitable, you probably need to ensure your team find its own way through it.
Give a “goal” and empower your peers to accomplish it, the way they like it.
In my opinion, our role as a leader is to make sure that we well explain the goal or problem, then you make sure your specialists have the right process and tools to make it happen.
This is my role as a leader. Is this the same way you manage your business ?