OK, this is an honest space. It’s about exploring our real limitations as parents and business owners. So I’ll admit – I called my family a bunch of “helpless ninnies” the other day.
I was out of town for a few days. Because I know they’re reliant on me I prepared. I shopped for groceries, cooked them food, left them an exhaustive schedule and list of things to do while I was gone, then packed my bags and headed out for a business trip.
You know the end of the story. When I returned three days later no one had done a thing. They hadn’t done their homework. Or cleaned the litter box. Or eaten anything even resembling a vegetable. It left me fuming. Why can’t these people do anything for themselves?
Of course you know the answer. They don’t have to. When I’m here I do it for them.
I hope the parallel to business is obvious by now. I can’t tell you how many business owners I’ve worked with who are doing it all. And they’re great at it! Problem is, they can’t so much as take a lunch break without it all falling apart. You’re fighting human nature here, big time. If someone isn’t required to do something when you’re around it’s unlikely they’ll do it when you’re out, whether it’s dealing with a customer problem, handling an unexpected expense, or troubleshooting the network printer. They may not even know how!
As we head into summer, take a look around your organization. Will you be able to head to the lake for an untroubled, long weekend? Or do you need to let go of the reins a little to make sure all goes well while you’re out?
As hard as it is to let go it’s a must if you’re ever going to have time to do the important things – or have a life outside the office. Make sure your employees have the skill, the know-how and the resources to handle things without you. And document, document, document! It’s the one sure-fire way to know things will be done the way you want them.
Have a question about how to let go? Email me and tell me your story: firstname.lastname@example.org