HOW TO BE A MANAGER, WITHOUT BEING A MICRO-MANAGER

Lee Iacocca, former CEO of Chrysler Corp, is often quoted for saying “I hire people brighter than me and then I get out of their way”.

Now, we agree with you, Lee, but it’s also harder than it sounds!

No one likes to be micro-managed (or be a micro-manager for that matter) but when you’ve worked hard to get your business to where it is, and you’ve likely worn all the hats along the way, it’s tricky to just step aside and let someone else take over. It might even be a little naive or risky to so quickly cease supervision.

Of course, we want everyone who joins our team to excel, so we’ve put together a handful of steps to work through (before you get out of their way!):

1. GET CLEAR ON WHAT SUCCESS LOOKS LIKE.

This starts to form your KPIs, targets or goals for the role. You will likely have thought about these aspects, even if only intrinsically, when deciding that you needed someone to fill this role. What gap are you trying to fill? How will this role be a good ROI?

2. DECIDE IF THEY HAVE THE SKILLS, KNOWLEDGE AND EXPERIENCE TO ACHIEVE THIS SUCCESS, RIGHT AWAY.

They might need some additional training or to spend some time shadowing you before you jump aside! This is totally okay, and it’s unlikely we can hire someone that can hit the ground running from day one.

3. COMMUNICATE YOUR EXPECTATIONS, IDEALLY IN WRITING!

This could be using a position description/role profile. People can’t exceed our expectations if they don’t know what those expectations are! If this person is more experienced in the role than you are, this can be a collaborative process, but you need to be clear on step 1 to make this work best.

4. KEEP YOUR DOOR OPEN.

You don’t want to get in their way (which is what we imagine Lee was really getting at), but they should still feel supported and able to ask questions or bounce ideas! You want your people to come to you if they aren’t sure how to execute something the way you would want it done. So keep the lines of communication open, ensure they’re providing you oversight of their key metrics and you’ll have mutual trust flying all over the place!

Written by
Kateena Mills