By letting it go it all gets done. The world is won by those who let it go.
But when you try and try. The world is beyond winning.
– Lao Tzu
It is common among better leaders to take a step back from the perils of micromanagement, but the concept of control is still accepted and even expected. When we attempt to control every scenario and possible outcome we fall into a bottomless “what if” pit – and end up spending more time and effort on contingency development than it would have taken to handle an unexpected situation.
The purpose of a leader is to define and manage principles and vision – in effect creating the guardrails of the wide superhighway, not drive the car. Respect your employees by giving them the control to develop and execute the plans required to drive down the highway. Mentor and provide oversight, don’t try to execute. Allowing employees to do their job requires trust and acceptance that there may be multiple paths to complete a task. Turning risk and even occasional failure into learning opportunities creates growth – another aspect of respect.
How can you lead, personally and professionally, by doing less? What more could you accomplish by relinquishing control and trusting others to do their jobs? Can the value of leadership be redefined so less is actually more?