Have we ever noticed that as leaders there are times when we find ourselves so busy that there’s barely any breather during the day? Is this because we’re micro-managing and don’t trust our people enough to handover some responsibilities. Do we realize that doing so not only makes their life uncomfortable, but at the same time it restricts us to develop further in the role we are in? I’ve learnt from my experience that the more competent people I find, the more I trust them, the less I need to manage them, in turn giving me more time to work towards the vision I’ve developed. In order to be a successful leader, it’s not important to know everything, it’s enough to know important things. I’ve always believed that in terms of management, ‘less is more’ as it goes a long way in empowering your employees and building their connect with the company’s vision.
Inculcating this philosophy doesn’t happen overnight, you need to make an effort to let go. You may be the captain of the ship, but you need to have faith in your crew to help you keep the ship sailing. Here’s where identifying the right people plays an important role. Taking the ship analogy ahead – you need to recruit or handover the responsibility to an expert in engineering, carpentry, etc. and trust them with their capabilities. A leader can’t know it all, there are specialists in various fields, all you need to do is convey your expectations and allow them to lead. Set up a core team of leaders and entrust them with expectations/company’s vision, they in turn can convey it ahead and create the next chain of leaders till the last person of the company is aligned with the vision.
Once you have the right people in place, invest in their future and be genuinely interested in their growth. As they learn and grow, so will the organization. Leaders need to enable a growth environment in their organization and constant prodding people won’t do you any good. Instead, give your employees some breathing space – it’s only when they know they are trusted will they work hard and deliver their best. Imagine someone constantly asking you for updates – rather than doing the actual work, all you keep doing is sharing updates. This can drastically bring down a person’s efficiency and curbs their freedom to think differently and innovate. Give them the liberty to fail, learn from their mistakes and move on to become a better version of themselves. I’ve failed multiple times at work, but that didn’t hold me back from experimenting. This is mainly because of the growth environment which is imbibed in our culture that allows to pursue what you strongly believe in. Build the culture of faith and provide your employees enough room to carry out their tasks, and trust me it will result into a force of dedicated and loyal employees.
Also know that letting go doesn’t mean you take a backseat completely. Be a situational leader and know when to step in. Be a facilitator by empowering your crew to do what they are best at when the ship is sailing smoothly. However, lead from the front when there’s crisis, change management, industry level disruption where you need to steer the ship in the right direction. Mentor your people when they need your guidance and support in a particular situation. Lastly and more importantly, appreciate the efforts of your people for a job well done. In my experience, a small ‘well done’ message or a token of appreciation can work wonders in increasing the motivation level of your employees. Be there for your employees and they in turn will be there for you and give their 100% for the organization, respect their capabilities and you will earn their respect.
Hire right, plan well with an ultimate objective to not manage, but to motivate your employees and achieve the end goals of the organization. Also, there’s no right management style, be yourself with focus on what needs to done and you’ll automatically have to do less to be a good leader.