Whether your job involves managing hundreds of people or leading a small task force, you’ve been hired to perform that job based on what you know, not what you do. If everyone on your team shares the same vision of where you’re going (this is your job), you don’t need to control every step of the journey (their job). And if everyone operates using the same basic values (everyone’s job), they don’t have to do things exactly the way you’ve always done them.
Give people room to experiment, grow, and develop their own skills. You probably learned by experiencing a few failures; give your people the same opportunity. If the goal is to make it to the top of the mountain, don’t insist that everyone use your brand of climbing gear and stick to your trail. Some may choose to climb up the way you did. Others may parachute down from a higher elevation. Either way, you’ll end up in the right place. And here’s the secret: Focusing on outcomes isn’t just a gift to your direct reports — you owe it to yourself. Micromanagers who never learn to mentor or delegate generally become so overcome with minutia that they fail to reach their own potential as leaders. Results matter — focus on that.
Bob Priest-Heck is president and COO of Freeman. Follow Bob on Twitter @bpriestheck.