We’ve all heard the term “helicopter parent,” a reference to moms and dads who constantly hover over their children, never giving them the opportunity to make their own decisions or mistakes, swooping in to save the day when things get the least bit challenging.
Helicopter bosses are much the same, hovering over their staff, second guessing their every decision. These bosses may have the best of intentions, but they fail to realize the damage they are doing. They are smothering the very potential in front line employees that could result in better, faster more efficient production.
As a result, employees become demotivated, feeling their efforts are a waste of time because regardless of what they do, the boss will change it. Of course the boss is exhausted from trying to refine everyone’s work and frustrated at his employees’ apparent lack of commitment.
If you struggle with the need to control every aspect of your business, here are four tips to consider:
ACCEPT THAT YOU DON’T HAVE TO BE THE FIRST TO KNOW
As leaders, we have the strong desire to be “in the know” when it comes to our team or our company. However, you can’t afford to be caught up in every little detail. When every little problem has to be shared with leaders first, the solutions can take forever. Trust the people on the front lines; they’re usually the ones who provide the best solutions because they’re most familiar with the situation.
TAKE YOURSELF OUT OF THE MIDDLE
It’s easy to waste time on minute unimportant details.
Taking yourself out of the middle of everything allows you to focus on what’s really important. It also means not every assignment is always done “your way.” Have faith that most things can be accomplished effectively in many ways.
DROP THE “I MUST DO IT MYSELF” MOTTO
How many times have you thought, “If I want something done right, I have to do it myself”? If so, you’re over-complicating your life and limiting yourself as a leader. When you begin relying on other people you’re free to focus on those things that are highest and best use of your time.
TEACH YOUR EMPLOYEES TO PRIORITIZE
As the leader, it’s your job to coach and influence your team – and this includes managing their time at work. Lead by example. Help people stay focused on their priorities by emphasizing how their work supports the vision and mission of the company.
The next time you find yourself swooping around your employees, remember your role is to teach, model and serve as a resource for your team, not hover over and make decisions for them.
Dave Crenshaw points out five important differences between micro managers and effective managers.
Check it out.