When I headed up my previous company, I hovered over my staff, keeping everyone’s movements within my sight, acting like a helicopter manager, trying to gain visibility. I wanted to maintain vigilance, poised as a quality controller to point out the small errors, the niggling little things they had overlooked or not quite done to my standards. The more I looked, the more faults I found. I was effectively filling the gaps left by my team and taking responsibility away from them. In so doing, I was creating more work for myself, and signalling to my staff that I didn’t really trust them. Eventually it dawned on me that my approach was not sustainable, that perhaps there was a common theme behind the issues I was encountering. If process is implemented correctly, in a positive, process-enabled scenario, keeping key people in the loop should feel instinctive, because everyone desires and wants to be seen to be working towards the same outcome: success. Before long, everything was running like clockwork, and as the business owner I was free to focus on higher-level decision-making.
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