If you lack confidence in your people you will have a tendency to micromanage. Allow me to explain.
My 7 year old daughter is a big helper in our house. When it’s time to do chores she, unlike our other kids, jumps in enthusiastically to help.
Some of her chores are well within her skill level like giving the dog a fresh bowl of water or refilling her food. Other chores, like loading the dishwasher, are a little more difficult. She hasn’t mastered the art of strategically arranging the vast amount of dirty dishes a family of 7 produces everyday.
Despite her good intentions, she doesn’t have the minimum requisite skills or ability to follow my wife’s system for loading the dishwasher. As a result, either myself or my wife must closely supervise her as she loads the dishes. During the process we are either showing her how to do it or we simply adjust the dishes as she places them in the dishwasher.
The fact is we don’t have the confidence that she can do the job well. So we micromanage.
In business, unless you have absolute confidence that your people will produce the results you expect, whether you realize it or not, you will micromanage them. You might be unconsciously preventing the growth of your business because you fear that if it grows further it will become out of control. You have to stay close enough to the action to be certain things are going the way you want or need them to go.
Your business might not be growing because you don’t have confidence in your people to perform at the highest possible level.
Now you might be saying, “No, Eden, that’s not true for me.” I have confidence in my people and business.
I want you to consider for a moment that you might be demonstrating a misguided overconfidence and simply be abdicating responsibility. How do you know if you are abdicating responsibility? Ask yourself this question.
Are the people who I am not micromanaging consistently meeting or exceeding the written, specific results I expect from them?
WAIT…before you answer that…you first have to answer this question; do you have specific, written goals or performance expectations for those people?
Years ago, in a previous business, I was an abdicator of responsibilities. I didn’t have the time or energy to micromanage the controller in my business. I believed she was doing a good job. I left her alone.
This practice bit me in the butt when we started running into cash flow problems. Her performance breakdowns got my attention.
Upon investigation, I came to discover that our receivables had completely gotten out of control. We had over 20% of our money in 90 days plus. Here is the crazy thing…she thought she was doing a good job.
The reality is I had never specifically defined and articulated that we needed to collect our receivables in a timely manner and that no more than 2% of our receivables should be in the 90 days plus column.
The mistake I made was twofold. First, I hadn’t clearly defined the goals for the position. Second, I assumed my controller knew the result she was accountable for producing and that she was indeed producing them. My over confidence led to abdicating which led to a complete breakdown in performance.
Under confidence causes us to hold too tightly to the business which limits our abilities to focus on longer term growth and development of our business. Over confidence will lead to mistakes and breakdowns in performance that can cost of lots of money and impact growth negatively.
Not don’t misunderstand me. You need confidence in your business. You need to have confidence that your people will perform and produce the results that you expect from them.
In a business that has implemented the Level 7 System, our focus changes from having confidence in it’s people to trusting and placing our confidence in our systems. In a Level 7 business it’s the systems that produce the results. Our people run the systems.
So with that being said, we must also have confidence in our people to follow the systems. That’s where accountability comes in.
Creating a business that really works, is scalable, replicatable and high performing requires that we place our confidence in two things; our systems and that our people are going to operate our systems.
Your work as a leader in your business shifts to building the best systems possible and creating an environment of accountability and trust that people will follow the systems.