If you want it done right, do it yourself. 
If that is your mantra, hard work may have gotten you where you are, but hard work without smart work will inevitably cause your business to plateau and maybe even crumble.

Here are three good reasons why you should stop micromanaging to grow your business and focus on working smarter:

  1. Your business will thrive. Micromanaging monopolizes time that could be spent working on your business rather than in it. When you’re constantly in your business, your day-to-day operations are reactive instead of proactive. Stop micromanaging and get in the driver’s seat.
  2. Your employees will be happier. 90 percent of employees included in Entrepreneur Magazine’s Great Places to Work survey in the small to middle market category say management trusts them without constantly looking over their shoulders. Happy employees produce better work and will stay with your company longer.
  3. Your employees will improve. When you fail to empower your team members to use their own brains, you handicap them. They’ll never learn to do anything themselves. You must delegate. Yes, it’s tough in the beginning as your team goes through inevitable growing pains, but it’s a short-term sacrifice for a long-term investment. In fact, your team members may even prove to do the job better than you did—and that’s a good thing.

I’m not suggesting you don’t manage at all. I’m recommending you take the first four steps to stop micromanaging:

  1. Hire rock stars. Your people are the only factors that truly separate you from your competition. Your competition can have the same equipment, the same rates and the same business plan, but they cannot have your people. Further, if you don’t have the right team, you can’t entrust them with important tasks. Hire slow and fire fast. It’s the most important thing you can do to distinguish your business and stop micromanaging.
  2. Institute a chain of command. Once you have the right people, assign members domains so they’re the go-to for anyone who has a question in that area. I find it effective to do this in tiers. For example, if your question is a general how-to or brainstorming question, talk to your peer. If it’s a vacation question, talk to Person X. If it’s a question concerning a client or account in jeopardy, talk to the head honcho. This empowers your team and frees your time.
  3. Give thorough directions. When you delegate, or your team members delegate to one another, make sure you’re all assigning SMART goals — Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Timely. This gives the goal an exponentially greater chance of being accomplished. Additionally, when a goal is accomplished, inner-team trust is emboldened and the need for micromanaging diminishes.

Unfortunately, the converse is also true. If a task is delegated and not completed, team trust is jeopardized and the need for micromanaging increases. Don’t let this happen. Insist delegated tasks are SMART.

  1. Share financials. If you want your team to care as much about your business as you do, give them the inside scoop. If your team knows what factors contribute to their salaries or raises, they’ll ensure those aspects are tended to. Again, this frees you to focus more on growing your business, which helps you and your team.

As a business owner you have the unique ability to influence lives. Your team members spend at least 40 hours every week with you at work. Their work lives infiltrate their personal lives financially and emotionally. You have the opportunity to empower, embolden and strengthen people. Do it. Stop micromanaging and start delegating today.


Originally published in the Tennessean.

photo credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/barkbud/4257136773/in/photostream/