19 April 2016

To make it in business, should you be a control freak?

I wouldn’t be surprised if some of my friends and family might describe me as such. It’s natural as a CEO, MD or business leader.LDN

Yet, my professional experience has taught me that it’s actually letting go and loosening the reins that can take a business to the next level. It took me more than a decade and an inspiring chat with a close business friend during a holiday a few years ago, to realise that I needed to take a different approach to management and appoint a managing director. It was a great decision. Handing over the day-to-day running of the business gave me space and time to focus on the future.

I didn’t simply want to manage, but grow and lead. I wanted to continue to raise the bar every day. In my opinion, micromanagement would be the worst type of management to achieve this. Trying to control everyone who is part of your business is not going to get you anywhere and can actually lower the engagement and productivity of your team.

Rather, I set out to create a strong workplace culture, where people feel able to take control over their own work and expertise. I learnt soon enough that excessive criticism makes people wither, while praise and encouragement makes them flourish. This is part of the reason why I invest so much in training and education; to give people the best possible chance of success. I’m not sure we’d have come so far as a business, if we hadn’t worked this hard on creating a strong culture, where everyone is aligned and moving in the same direction.

This is why I think that a strong recruitment process is the best alternative to micromanagement and can help any control freak to finally take that step back.

When hiring new recruits, I look for people with a thirst for knowledge and a drive to work together to achieve goals. Everyone in our company should be able to take ownership for what they do on a daily basis and feel empowered to make decisions and generate ideas. I love to work with a team that can think for themselves.

We are recruiting now, for roles right across the business, so if this sounds like you then, by all means, get in touch!

I believe that, if your business is doing well, there should be no time for micromanagement. And if you’ve built an effective team, there should be no need to. After all, a really well put-together team manages itself, giving you time to lead rather than manage.

As a business leader, it’s important to make the most of your time by taking a strategic viewpoint over the business. What are your future goals and what do you need to do to achieve these? How will you develop?

Striking the right balance in your leadership and management style can be a challenge, but getting it right will encourage innovation and creativity and help your business grow.

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