Trust your Employees.
I’ve worked in multiple organizations or teams before and noticed the same issue crop up time and time again. It occurs so much that I believe it warrants some thought and “advice” <rolls eyes, I know I know>
Let me state it in the clearest and best possible way :
The secret to building great teams is to TRUST YOUR EMPLOYEES.
The primary issue I have noticed with most “Leaders” I’ve worked with is that they take the time to poach or hire great individuals to be part of their team. They scout or organize events to push their primary goal and agenda – Recruitment. They go on stages and network at meetups again to fuel this very same goal – Recruitment.
They then find these great individuals, decide on a salary/compensation for said person and welcome them with a red carpet, and blowing trumpets into their company and Teams. They then seek advice, request execution, ask for Management help and the list goes on and said employee provides their valuable feedback and contributes knowledge based on capability and experience. This honeymoon period usually last a few months or so (duration varies according to Leader).
Then, bad things start to happen. The Leaders suddenly either catch 1) Shiny ball syndrome as I call it – where they fancy something new and cool that they picked up from some random blog OR what is inherently worst 2) The “Guru” Problem occurs.
The “Guru” problem
What is the “Guru” problem you ask ? Simple. The so-called Leaders suddenly assume that the valuable feedback and data driven decisions made by their own employees which they so carefully curated and formed are second or in fact given little to no weightage at all because they fancy some random, unfounded advice from a “Guru” or personality in the wild. This usually comes from their friends or certain industry personalities – the Internet Marketing industry in particular has a ton of these so called people.
These Leaders then decide that their team instead of being a proactive and contributing team, has to change to become a purely execution team to deliver what the “Gurus” have preached. More often than not, all further suggestions, thoughts and views from the Team are discarded or argues down by said Leaders.
THAT’S THE PROBLEM
Here’s where I come in. I wanted to ensure that if you are such a Leader, you need to consider a few things and hopefully not go down that path of downfall :
- You curated your Team.
I cannot emphasize this point enough. You decided who gets to work for you. You decided who you wanted to poach. You built the Team. Hence, you need to give them enough room to do what they are hired to do. Not deride or derail them.
- Your Team knows you & your company
This is yet another super interesting point. Your Team understands you and your company best – Why ? Because they are in it every day. Its the first thing on their mind when they wake up, its the last thing on their mind at times when they go to bed. Its the primary motivation for them to keep improving their skills because they realize they want to contribute back. Its extremely easy for a so-called expert or “Guru” to dish out advice because they don’t have the understanding or background to your current state of Operations. Also, its always easier to give advice than to actually get your hands dirty with execution.
- Your Team needs room to grow
You need to understand that each and every Team has a growth trajectory be it positive or negative – that’s entirely up to you. As a Leader, you need to help the Team grow, you need to give allowance for mistakes to happen in your timeline and allow them to find ways to fix it. Not doing so, causes your Team growth progress to stagnate and this is bad for any one individual or a Team as a whole.
As a Leader, its crucial for you to understand that everything your Team does is in response to your betterment or the benefit of the company because if the company suffers so will they. There are of course use cases where certain people don’t play well in Teams or just want to watch the world burn but I consider them outliers and not the mean.
Trusting your employees goes a long way in ensuring your company grows rapidly. Most people just focus on trying to grow and assume that tools will fix everything but its quite the opposite. Its not tools or products or processes or methodologies per say, its people. They are what makes the difference. They are you.
Friday, February 15, 2013