Unleashing the Enthusiasm

Every business owner wants to have a hand in the many different aspects of the business.  Not that every business owner has a need to control, or is overly protective of what they’ve built.  Many owners just want to be really involved; sometimes too much.

The man who was my mentor had this, not problem, but contagious habit of making standard situations overwhelming.  He achieved this through micromanagement.  He would rush into a calm situation, rearrange directions given by other managers and take a number of people out of their assignments.  Because he had to do it all, or to be constantly checking in on what everyone was doing.  That was his day.  The really terrible part is that he had so much enthusiasm that no one wanted to say “Just let me do my job!”.

Employees Return with Discontent

From the employee perspective, being micromanaged is the bosses saying that they don’t trust you.  Constructing an environment with this low level of trust will result in unhappy and unreliable staff.  After your employees think that you don’t trust them, then they’ll start to give you reasons to.  We can’t have this.

All hands in, is always Welcome!

Being involved is so very different from hovering.  One of the most fun and greatest learning experiences I’ve ever had was with a general manager of whom I credit so much of my knowledge of operations.  We worked the same schedule, and I was his trainee at the time but if he was always around he would end up critiquing every step of the process I was trying to learn.  Instead he had this method that was focused on deconstructing and rebuilding.

            Step 1: Establishing Expectations

Any project or process is best done in pieces.  Small easy to accomplish tasks.  Define each step of the process as the boss.  Covering when it should be done and what the expected end result is.  The expected end result is most important, and will come up again.

            Step 2: Taking Your Part of the Work

Assign these tasks between the two of your, or if its a team include yourself as a contributing member of the team.  You want to be involved, and while you may have other work that needs to be done, giving something small to this project builds trust that you’re not there to just observe and comment.  I’ve always when using this taken a smaller aspect that is vital to the beginning of the project.  Such as establishing a client-staff weekly communication schedule, or providing the first few team meeting agendas.

            Step 3: Focusing on Your Contribution

Complete your tasks.  Show that your focus is on providing quality effort to this process.  Be detailed and produce the same work that you expect of your staff.  Some of these things it may have been a while since you’ve had to do, but be diligent.

            Step 4: Showcase Your Work

Bring your completed portion of the process to the person you’re working with.  They can now see what you’ve delivered.  It’s physical and you’ve contributed.

            Step 5: The Wait

Walk away.  Until the deadline you’ve set, when you determine your deadline in this process you should account for any time before this actually needs to be 100 percent complete in case of necessary adjustment.  It’s true, you can’t leave every employee to their own.

            Step 6: Determine if Expectations Were Met

The final step, evaluating the work for completeness.  The question to ask yourself is whether they have delivered the end result that you stated in the beginning.  This is the base of evaluation.  Performance, detail, functionality all rest on what you determined the end result should be.  Then approach the employee.  How did they produced this end result?  If it was what you desired as the final outcome, listen to how they deviated from your original broken down plan.  Acknowledge the positive aspects of the work.

Now, if they did not produce quality work or what they brought in was not what you had asked for; you’ll need a different approach.  Although the question is the same, acknowledge where they began to deviate from the plan.

The fun part in this is that after a point where I was the one slowly being trusted we began competing against each other.  Yes, compete with your employee.  Ask them to pick apart what you did, while you streamline their steps for them.  It’s engaging and when I had the chance to flip it around and be the one using this to build trust, it had the same effect.  I have always been a very hands on manager, and this opened doors to make my involvement was welcomed.

Be Engaging not Observant

There wasn’t a mentality that I was hovering to pester everyone.  I was literally all over the place because I was contributing very small assistance to various projects so I could stay involved without being in the way.  This also permits the staff to teach the boss or manager.  Business owners are often so much more open minded in bringing in ideas than most mid-level managers.

1+9 =10 …well so does 2+8 and 5+5

This barrier creates a conflict that is ever present in micromanagement; that the boss knows what to do and how to do it.  Everything should be done exactly the way the boss says to.  But here we’ve seen that the only thing that actually mattered by step 6 was that the end result was what you wanted.  Between steps five and six we decided that it didn’t matter how the employee got the desired result; and that’s fine because you were part of the project.  Be a part of the project or take a role in the beginning, then allow the employees to show you the success they can achieve.


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