Where are my fellow control freaks at?!
I’m raising both hands over here, and I’m about to spill the tea on an important reminder for us when it comes to leading and motivating a team to support your business growth.
Whether you’re a business owner bringing on team members for the first time or have been around the business block managing your team for years, handing over the reins can feel challenging.
Control is a thing for us entrepreneurs. After all, controlling all.the.things. is often what’s allowed you to grow your business to a place for it to need team members in the first place.
While being in control might have helped you grow your business, it’s not always the most productive lever when it comes to scaling your business and motivating your team to support your business growth.
I mean, if you’re an entrepreneur, my guess is you know how much it sucks to be told what to do. You’ve probably had at least one job in your past where you’ve been micromanaged.
And, my guess is at least some of the reason for starting your own business has to do with wanting to be in control of your own destiny and day...which is why I’m personally not a big fan of the term ‘management’ when it comes to team.
Because, I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to ‘manage’ people, I want to *lead* a team that’s motivated to take action.
Leading helps people on your team self-motivate, whereas managing is a nice way of saying ‘exert your control freak tendencies’ and will only get you and your team so far (and relies on your continued ‘management’ to drive action).
Leading instead of managing might sound counterintuitive, but this isn’t just my opinion, studies show us humans really don't like to be bossed around, and we tend to be more motivated to show up and take action when we’re intrinsically motivated (Check out Daniel H. Pink’s book Drive where he talks all about this).
There’s a BIG difference between being (micro)managed and led, and this difference makes all the difference if you’re now running a team in your business and want them to help you build, grow, and scale your business.
The truth is, us humans like to be at choice and don’t like being told what to do.
In fact, autonomy is a core human psychological need. Meaning, as a business owner, if you’re trying to control and manage people, you’re pushing against the core need of autonomy...which can lead to resistance, dissonance, and friction.
Kinda the opposite thing we’re going for when controlling, er, managing a team, right?!
When you can pour that well-meant controlling energy into *leading* and facilitating autonomy with your team, you motivate your team, build trust, and inspire creative thinking (and loyalty).
This isn’t just me, research shows when people are given a sense of autonomy, even within big corporations, they perform better.
If this is true for corporations, you better believe it’s true for us entrepreneurs and small business owners.
One easy way to create more autonomy with your team (and to still feel that sense of control) is to communicate clearly and specifically the end result you’re working towards and then allow your team members freedom with their process (i.e. not sitting over their shoulder to see exactly how they’re executing).
Think of this like math class back in grade school, instead of asking to see the work for a math problem, let the ‘right answer’ be what’s important.
Because your team’s way of getting to the outcome might look different than the way you’d get there. But that doesn’t mean it’s bad or wrong, just different.
Just like you and I might have a different way we get to the solution for 45x27.
What matters is that you lead your team to the “right answer”, not how they arrive at it, which opens up room for autonomy!
Wishing you your version of success.