Are you fostering an environment where employees are challenged and empowered to grow? If you still make every decision and control every project, you’re not. Common traits of leaders who struggle letting go (and the impact on their teams):
Chief Decision Maker
- Time is spent making decisions that others can make.
- The team doesn’t gain confidence to make decisions.
- When the leader is gone or unavailable, the team waits for a decision.
- Everything must be done the leader’s way.
- The leader must be in the know on everything.
- Projects are delegated but then taken back or micromanaged.
- Obsessed over the details that teammates should handle.
- Employees never know where or when the leader is going to take control.
- Frustrated employees feel the leader is doing their jobs.
Organizational impact when the leader refuses to let go:
- Dependent, immobile and/or fearful employees
- Workers feel uninspired and unmotivated
- Less time for the leader to focus on big picture, vision, future products, growth, etc.
- Growth is stunted
- Unhappy employees = unhappy customers
5 Ways to Let Go & Let Your Team Grow
- Be clear with the big picture. Set a vision so clear that when decisions are made, they are in line with the direction of the company vision. Consider setting three – five decision factors/questions that employees can answer to test if the decision or project is in line with the vision. (e.g. Is it good for the company? Will it multiply leaders? Will it make things easier for clients?)
- Change your mindset. If you don’t let go today, then 6 months or a year from now you’ll be in the same place as you are today. You must take action today if you want next year to be different. Ensure your actions back up your desire to let go.
- Focus on results. You might organize your desk differently, prefer the phone over email or develop key leaders in your area to assist with your weaknesses. In the end, it’s the results that matter.
- Accept the learning curve. Be okay with a temporary dip from your 100% to another’s 90%. As you coach and mentor, you can raise the 90% bar. You can’t microwave someone into making decisions like you do. It takes time.
- Protect your culture. Know that tactics and style may change, but you never change (nor allow others to change) the nuggets that make your culture special, like an atmosphere of being easy to do business with, a customer-first mindset, serving one another, client retention, accountability, character, honesty, and so on.