10 Mistakes Business Owners Make: Mistake 9 – Micro-managing
We’ve all had one of those bosses – the one that is constantly looking over your shoulder, correcting your mistakes and telling you how to do things. People leave jobs because of their manager more often than for any other reason and you can’t build a business without good people!
“It doesn’t make sense to hire smart people and then tell them what to do; we hire smart people so they can tell us what to do.”
Over the years I’ve been working with business owners and leaders, I’ve gathered together 10 Mistakes Business Owners Make. These are the most common mistakes I see in business owners of all shapes and sizes, across different industries and at all stages of their business journey. I want to share them with you in the hope that this knowledge will make your own journey easier.
Mistake 9 is micro-managing. What is it, why do you care and how can you avoid doing it?
Even when you have, in theory, delegated work to your team, it’s too easy to spend your time micro-managing. You want to control every detail, you want to ‘help’, you want to make sure everything is OK. After all you know your clients, products, processes, systems better than anyone else… The outcome will be demotivated people who will never seem good enough to you.
You have to learn to let go. Easier said than done, of course, but vital if you want your company to ever be about more than just you. Write down the process, in clear step-by-step language, talk the person through it, show them how to do it once, watch them do it once and them let them get on with it. Make sure you’re available if help is required, especially to start with, but trust your people to do their jobs and let them make mistakes. It’s hard, especially when the business is your baby, but it’s the only way that your business will ever be able to grow and your people learn. The more you can focus on objectives and accept that people will find different ways of getting there, the more your people will ‘step up’ and take ownership of what they are doing.
That moment when you realise that things are happening without you – conversations are taking place, ideas being formed and problems being solved, all without you needing to be involved – can be magical as well as scary. It’s a sign that the business is growing beyond you. Make sure that quality standards and the company’s values are clearly embedded within your processes and you have nothing to fear.
If someone is always telling you that everything is fine, I would be wary! In business things are always breaking – that’s usually the only way you learn and grow. Ensure you put metrics in place to measure the important aspects of your business. Make sure you are dealing with facts and not just what people tell you.
Think about all the things you could be doing with your time if you weren’t focused on the day-to-day running of your business. Empowering your people and helping them take ownership means you get to focus on growth, innovation and the next big idea.
If any of these 10 Mistakes strike a chord and you’d like to start a conversation, please get in contact.
Lisa Zevi – Co-Founder of REAL Business Builders