I recall a few leadership lessons I learned in my life that continue to haunt me. I would bet and surely win if you and I had an honest one-on-one session and compared my blunders as a leader with yours. My bet is that you micromanaged your way to become a leader and failed, just like me.
It took me some time to realize my mistakes. I micromanaged my people. One of my big breakthroughs, yes I said one, there were many, was when my team finally confronted me and said, ‘You do it because we’ll never get it right in the world according to Carm.’
I thought I had explained exactly how I wanted it done. In retrospect, they did a pretty good job on the project/task I gave them, but it wasn’t ‘my way’, so, you guessed it, I re-did the project myself. I demonstrated that I had no faith, trust or belief in them.
It was ‘my way’ or the highway
It took some time for it all to sink in. It’s been 35 years and I can recall it like it was yesterday. That was one of my biggest lessons, yet it took a few more years for it to all sink in. One of my remedies was reading leadership books, attending seminars/conferences and networking. I thought I was practicing leadership, but I was in left field. I wasn’t engaging and supporting my people. It was ‘my way’ or the highway. Sound familiar?
Why do we micromanage? You put everything on the line to start your business; you must be the smartest; the ‘answer man’ or woman; the expert. All knowing, all seeing, OZ. You embed yourself as the hub of the wheel and micromanaging creeps up on you. You feel the pressure to be all things to all people. When your people want to help, support and contribute to the business it goes in one ear; no, I take that back, It never reaches your ear and if it does you don’t listen to learn or understand.
My favorite John Maxwell quote.
When I think back, no-one had an original thought or an idea to help the business. I wonder why? I was proving to the world that ‘my way’ was the best. I would be judged on having the best ideas or making every great decision (how wrong I was to think like that). In retrospect, what would the business or my world be like had I embraced, so much earlier in my career, that “Leadership is influence, nothing more, nothing less.” (My favorite quote from John Maxwell)
Let me encourage you to make big change and build a culture of inclusion and team in your business and life. Therefore, stop micromanaging. Quit making every decision. Stop being the center of the wheel and thinking that you are the only one who has all the right answers.
When people implement their own ideas they own them.
Start by creating your business values with your team. Ask for their input on policies, procedures, and issues. Support their decisions even when their means to an end gets the job done and doesn’t agree with yours. When people implement their own ideas they own them.
Understand your role. If you are the president or CEO, manager or team lead you can become a great leader and influencer of people. Your job is not to micromanage every detail of your world around you. Give your people the task and charge them for a quality outcome. Accept their work and guide them to discover a different way to approach. Keep in mind their finished task may be better than your perceived outcome.
If you are just starting a business, then you have a more critical role in the day today. However, if you have plans to grow, and you should, practice being a great leader, it will aid that growth and build a team that will help you reach your goals.
If you can relate to any part of this article, then please spend some time with the Town Hall Academy Episode 93. It is all about micromanaging. I’m confident that the time you spend watching the webcast or listening to the podcast will really help set a good direction for you to find your leadership stride by minimizing your micromanaging ways.
We talk the business of the aftermarket.