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Why Letting Go Will Make You A Great Leader

Why Letting Go Will Make You A Great Leader

If you’ve ever found yourself in charge of a company, you probably came into the position with a grand vision of how the organization would function. It’s possible that, to achieve this vision, you may have ended up micromanaging your staff. This may have made them afraid to try new ways of solving problems, only working to get the job done rather than to flourish.

As a manager, you have to let go of the “my way or the highway” mantra, and look toward the goals you have for your program or organization. As long as your staff is working toward this same goal, everyone involved will succeed.

Why should you let go?

To establish trust

When you stop micromanaging your staff, you establish a trusting relationship that goes both ways. If you’re constantly getting in the middle of your employees’ projects and looking over their shoulders, they’re more likely to let nerves take over. They’ll be more concerned with completing a task in the way they think you want it completed than completing it to the best of their abilities.

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Trust your staff’s ability to get a job done, and they’ll trust the major decisions you make for the company.

To allow your staff to develop

You don’t want your staff working under such stress that they complete their tasks like programmed robots. Humans have a distinct advantage over machines in that we learn while we work on a job, rather than just doing the job the way we’ve been programmed to do it.

As a manager, you hired your staff members not just because you saw in them the ability to get a job done, but also because you saw an opportunity for growth. Let them find their own solutions to problems, and they’ll continue to develop the skills necessary. Allow them to not just succeed, but to push their limits and go the extra mile.

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To free up time for you to make other decisions

If you’re constantly micromanaging your crew, you’ll spend way too much time on the little things, and your business will fall apart. Your staff is in place for a reason: to worry about the little things so you can think big. As the leader of a company, your job is to steer the ship toward major goals. If you leave the helm to make sure your deck hand didn’t miss a spot while mopping, you’re bound to go off course or crash the boat.

You do need to supervise your staff from time to time, but you should make sure that most of your time is spent looking after the major decisions that will affect your business in the long run.

How to let go

Fully train your staff

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You hired your staff members because you saw potential in them. However, this doesn’t mean they know everything about the business. Make sure they’ve been given time to understand the main goals of the company and their role within the team. Assess your employees’ performance over time, and give each member performance goals for the coming months and year. Along with this, offer professional development opportunities so they can strengthen their weaknesses and push their abilities even further.

When you fully equip your staff with the tools they need to succeed, you won’t have to look over their shoulder on a day-to-day basis.

Focus on the big picture

The running theme here has been to avoid the need to micromanage. If you don’t delegate tasks to your staff, or spend too much time harping on them over small mistakes, you’ll have too much on your plate to make any real progress. Take the time to list all the major things you want your company to accomplish, then decide how everyone can work as a team to accomplish the little tasks that will get you to your goals. Once you’ve delegated responsibilities, let your staff members work their magic. Allow them to be creative in their approaches, and don’t intervene unless they come to you for help — unless there are glaring issues that require immediate attention.

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Working with your staff doesn’t mean overseeing every little activity within your company. Just remember: don’t sweat the small stuff.

Featured photo credit: Flickrr via farm5.staticflickr.com

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Matt Duczeminski

A passionate writer who shares lifestlye tips on Lifehack

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Last Updated on August 6, 2020

Why Working 9 to 5 Is Outdated

Why Working 9 to 5 Is Outdated

Bristol is the most congested city in England. Whenever I have to work at the office, I ride there, like most of us do. Furthermore, I always make sure to go at off hours; otherwise, the roads are jam-packed with cars, buses, bikes, even pedestrians. Why is that? Because everyone is working a traditional 9 to 5 work day.

Where did the “9 to 5” Come From?

It all started back in 1946. The United States government implemented the 40 hour work week for all federal employees, and all companies adopted the practice afterwards. That’s 67 years with the same schedule. Let’s think about all the things that have changed in the 67 years:

  • We went to the moon, and astronauts now live in space on the ISS.

  • Computers used to take up entire rooms and took hours to make a single calculation. Now we have more powerful computers in our purses and back pockets with our smartphones.

  • Lots of employees can now telecommute to the office from hundreds, and even thousands of miles away.

In 1946 a 9-5 job made sense because we had time after 5pm for a social life, a family life. Now we’re constantly connected to other people and the office, with the Internet, email on our smartphones, and hashtags in our movies and television shows. There is no downtime anymore.

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Different Folks, Different Strokes

Enjoying your downtime is an important part of life. It recharges your batteries and lets you be more productive. Allowing people to balance life and work can provide them with much needed perspective and motivation to see the bigger picture of what they are trying to achieve.

Some people are just more productive when they’re working at their optimal time of day, after feeling well rested and personally fulfilled.  For some that can be  from 4 a.m. to 9 a.m; for others, it could be  2 p.m. to 7 p.m.

People have their own rhythms and routines. It would be great if we could sync our work schedule to match. Simply put, the imposed 8-hour work day can be a creativity and morale killer for the average person in today’s world.

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Productivity and Trust Killer

Fostering creativity among employees is not always an easy endeavor, but perhaps a good place to start is by simply not tying their tasks and goals to a fixed time period. Let them work on their to-do list at their own pace, and chances are, you’ll get the best out of your employee who feels empowered instead of babysat.

That’s not to say that you should  allow your team to run wild and do whatever they want, but restricting them to a 9 to 5 time frame can quickly demoralize people. Set parameters and deadlines, and let them work at their own creative best with the understanding that their work is crucial to the functioning of the entire team.

Margaret Heffernan, an entrepreneur who previously worked in broadcasting, noted to Inc that from her experience, “treating employees like grown-ups made it more likely that they would behave the same way.” The principle here is to have your employees work to get things done, not to just follow the hands on the clock.

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A Flexible Remote Working Policy

Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer famously recalled all her remote workers, saying she wanted to improve innovation and collaboration, but was that the right decision? We’ve all said that we’re often more productive in a half day working from home than a full day working in the office, right? So why not let your employees work remotely from home?

There are definitely varying schools of thought on remote working. Some believe that innovation and collaboration can only happen in a boardroom with markers, whiteboards and post-it notes and of course, this can be true for some. But do a few great brainstorms trump a team that feels a little less stressed and a little more free?

Those who champion remote working often note that these employees are not counting the clock, worried about getting home, cooking dinner or rushing through errands post-work. No one works their 9-5 straight without breaks here and there.  Allowing some time for remote working means employees can handle some non-work related tasks and feel more accomplished throughout the day. Also, sometimes we all need to have a taste of working in our pajamas, right?

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It’ll be interesting to see how many traditional companies and industries start giving their employees more freedom with their work schedule. And how many end up rescinding their policies like Yahoo did.

What are your thoughts of the traditional 9-5 schedule and what are you doing to help foster your team’s productivity and creativity? Hit the comments and let us know.

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