Perhaps one of the greatest challenges of leadership is to know when to let go.
Let your team run – without your tugging on them with questions, queries or oversight on a minute basis (no, I don’t mean that thing that when multiplied by 60 equals an hour! – I mean that definition that talks about a very, very small increment of X – minute as in small).
Let your imagination run a bit without the logical part of your brain crying out about how ‘it’ couldn’t possibly work.
Combine both of the above – let your team and their creativity spark and run.
Ask anybody – really, try this, I kid you not. Ask any small group of people what their number 1 dislike about management styles is and you will likely hear about micro-management.
Let it go.
Don’t let it go to heck in a hand basket. But let it go – far enough to see how well things can go without a constant tugging from behind.
My business partner has academic rigor and intellectual depth to spare. And, while I would argue that he does just fine in most if not all social situations, he maintains adamantly that he is not the people person – I am. For ages I tried to convince him to take on certain relationship management and contact management. Convinced that all he needed was a success to see what he was truly capable of I wouldn’t let up on the poor guy.
Good recipe for ruining a partnership. Bad recipe for running a business.
Different areas of strength and differences in challenges are what convinced us that we could craft something bigger together than we could apart. It is those differences that will be our greatest strength – as long as I let go of the notion hat somehow we now need to become both who each of us is and partly who the other one is as well.
So I’m letting it go. Slowly, and sometimes I find myself biting my tongue – hard – but still finding that the results are worth it. We’re each playing to our strengths more, getting more accomplished and seeing stronger results.
We’ll see what happens but for now? For now I can see, for likely the first time in the long life of this self-professed control freak, the value of easing up – of letting go.