Many entrepreneurs struggle when working with others, even their own employees and partners.
For many entrepreneurs growing a company, bringing in a bigger team, delegating and trusting in the people you hired, and ultimately letting go of control is a scary proposition.
Smart entrepreneurs will surround themselves with people as smart as or smarter than they are, at least in certain areas of expertise.
Know that your employee may not do something exactly the same way you would. This is OK, and not a problem.
Often times you will have hired an employee especially because they know something that you don’t know. Or, maybe you partnered up with someone that compliments your skill and knowledge-base. This is completely normal, but entrepreneurs often forget this and can turn into complete ego-fuelled control freaks even on subjects that they know very little about.
Think about it this way, you are probably an entrepreneur in the first place because you didn’t follow the crowd. Let go of control and allow your employees to do the same, and allow them to do things the way they do them best.
When entrepreneurs turn into control freaks, it almost always stems from ego and/or fear.
This ego is generally triggered when there is a problem that hasn’t been solved fast enough. Many entrepreneurs at this point want to point the finger, apply blame and start micro managing. But, instead of forcing people to solve that problem by doing things exactly your way, learn how to use the people you hired to their highest capacity.
Communicate what the goal that needs to be accomplished is, give them any resources you can that could be helpful, then back off and let them do their thing.
I’m going to talk about “gut feelings” for a minute because I think that it is often used as an excuse to become Mr. or Mrs. Control Freak, Ego-Fuelled Micro-Manager.
Control freaks can be “activated” by gut feelings, usually when something isn’t going how you had thought it would go. This usually triggers fear and the ego.
Often times an entrepreneur will have a gut feeling that the way their employee is doing something is not the best way, or that the decision the employee is making is wrong. Generally, this is after the fact when they didn’t get the desired result. But it can also occur in strategy discussions or in the day to day.
While your gut feeling may be “right”, it doesn’t mean it’s right to impose and force your way and micro-management on your employees.
It can feel smothering to have someone tell you exactly how to do something or to “strongly imply it”. It doesn’t mean you can’t discuss strategy, give advice and offer suggestions, because you certainly can. But, once it crosses over into day-to-day micro-management, and manipulation then that’s when it gets dangerous and smothering.
Micro-management is like having a hand puppet. If you are feeding your employees the exact words, acting for them, or holding their hands in a sense then you have crossed into micro-management.
People often at this point offer a rebuttal that their gut feelings are always right and that they refuse to not trust them no matter if it means micro managing.
That’s called being stubborn. Now you are stubborn, believe you are always right no matter what and an ego-fuelled control freak – all at once
If you really want to be awarded for trusting your gut feeling, know this. Know that you hired this employee and that your gut feeling was absolutely right to hire the employee. You made the right decision already and followed your gut. They were the right person for the job. Now, you have to back off and let them do the job.
That original gut feeling usually overpowers the day-to-day gut feeling or feeling of uncertainty in how an employee is doing their job. It’s entrepreneurial nature to question things but don’t let that turn into over-analysis and eventual micro management of an employee. A good trick here is to physically remove yourself from certain hour-to-hour, day-to-day projects that your employees are doing on their own, and instead focus on a quick 15-minute meeting every morning or every week to get your fix of knowing what they are doing.
There’s nothing wrong with holding employees accountable for work and results, that’s highly suggested. Otherwise you breed a lazy, unmotivated workforce.
Challenge yourself to take steps to not stick your nose in things that aren’t directly goals that you personally need to accomplish. If you have hired an employee and delegated a task, then allow them to do it. Once you cross into micro-management you are drastically reducing the chances of any creativity happening from your employee.
There are obviously some exceptions. For example with extremely repetitive tasks that have a proven scientific way to do them, you could follow that. But that’s extremely rare and the methods still should be challenged. After-all why encourage the status quo.
Speaking of goals, make sure you have a good strong goal yourself. Lack of goals or boredom can lead to the desire to micro-manage, over-think, over-analyze, and start becoming that ego-fuelled control freak that isn’t good for any company. Learn meditation too, and how to turn off the “thoughts in your head”. If you want to get really deep, those “thoughts in your head” aren’t even really you. As Eckart Tolle says, you are the observer in your mind, not the thoughts.
Remember that time is one thing that you can’t get back. You hired an employee to either do something you can’t do, or free up more of your time. Allow them to do that, and to help you reach the companies goals.