Letting Go, Preventing Roadblocks and Taking Ownership

They say that the boss is often the biggest roadblock to getting stuff done within a business. I run my own business and, so, in this case the boss is me.

Recently, I noticed that I was standing in the way of our team from just getting stuff done and executing. Too often team members were coming to me and asking things like “should I email the client about fill in the blank?” Well, if I was out to lunch, or at a meeting, this decision could be left unanswered for hours and, meanwhile, the client was left hanging.

It was a lot of decisions. Some big, but many, well, not so big.

Also, in fairness to me, sometimes there were too many decisions for even me to make. I know, cry me a river, it’s sooooo hard making decisions all day. But, yeah, sometimes it is a bit too much.

So we had a team powwow about how to execute faster and not let me, the boss, stand in the way of getting things done.

To make this work, we needed to make a few changes to our approach. Namely:

  1. I needed to be accepting of things that weren’t always done the way I would suggest, or even want.
  2. Two, others needed to accept that they may make a bad call, and learn to own that.

For our business to be successful, I didn’t need to make every decision. In many instances, we could be more successful when I didn’t. Not only do I, “the boss” slow things down, but I don’t always have the magic answer.

Others on the team needed to be encouraged, and given the autonomy, to make decisions. And then we have to let that decision play out in the real world. How did the client respond? Positively? Great! Not so positive? This isn’t the time for the blame game or I told you so. We didn’t make the right call but big whoop, let’s own it and adjust going forward.

Of course, there are times when a teammate truly desires someone’s feedback before a decision is made. When we need support or guidance. Great, we’ll bring in others. And that’s the benefit of working with a team we trust.

But, in other instances, we now just go for it. Someone on the team sees a problem, they identify how they want to solve it and they execute. However it plays out we learn from the decision and move on.