As leaders, many of us constantly struggle with our desire to control everything. No matter how carefree or hands-off we might be at heart, trusting others with important decisions and tasks is difficult--and definitely something even the best of leaders have a hard time with.
While it's easy to abstractly talk about letting go, putting such a philosophy into action is harder than it may seem on the surface. What, then, are some concrete steps we can take to get on the path to relinquishing control? Here are five ways how.
1. Don't make every single decision
Micromanaging is a tendency many leaders naturally fall into--and for good reason. For perfectionists, it makes sense that we would want everything to go as smoothly as possible. However, the habit of constant supervision comes at the price of a loss of independence for your people. Begin relinquishing some control over every detail by allowing your employees to make decisions on a small- to medium-size project. Have your people provide you with updates as they progress. You might be surprised by how well it turns out.
2. Learn the art of delegation
One of the best parts of being a leader is simply not needing to do all the grunt work--so keep that in mind. Pass on as many smaller tasks as possible to your staff and let them decide how they should be done. That way, all you need to look at is the standard of the final product, ultimately a much easier job that allows your team to gain confidence along the way.
3. Involve others in goal setting
When discussing long-term goals, it can be easy to forget that employees want a say in their future, especially when this future affects them personally. Involve members of your team when doing future planning or goal setting. It's not just nice to have someone to bounce ideas off of; it ensures your employees' personal goals are in line with the goals of your company.
4. Be transparent
Sometimes, people don't know how to get involved simply because they lack adequate resources or information. Offering your team enough information gives them opportunities to participate, ask questions, or even take on more responsibility--reducing the load on your shoulders.
5. Establish small hubs of work in your company
One of the easiest ways to ensure you're not doing all the work is by making smaller, specialized teams, each one with a leader and purpose in the larger scheme of things. This way, you're able to focus on the bigger problems at hand while letting others gain much-needed experience and manage smaller tasks along the way.