Are you in a leadership role? Do you know when to let go? I’m a control freak, and it seems both my adult daughters are, as well. Huh, I wonder where they got that? 

I remember an awards banquet I coordinated several years ago. I had the evening planned to the last detail. Every activity was listed down to the minute, from who would present each award, for how long, and what the band would play as the presenter left the podium. 

I had accounted for every moment of the banquet, and timing was critical, at least in my mind. The administrative staff came to me minutes before the ceremony kicked off and asked if they could gather everyone to the stage for a group photo. I said, “no.” It wasn’t in the book, and damn it. I was in control. 

Thank goodness I came to my senses, and we added the photo opportunity to the evening. My point is, don’t let being in control get in the way of doing what’s best. Know when to let go.

Know When to Let Go

• If someone has a better idea than you, let them use it. Yes, that’s right — someone may have a better idea than you.

 • When someone on the team wants to prove you wrong by making their plan succeed, let them prove it.

 • If it’s time for innovation, a new approach or perspective may show opportunities you didn’t know existed.

 • When you need a break, you can share some of the burden and the fun with others. Not only could they rise to the occasion, but you will benefit from the renewal.

 • When others, through their hard work and proven track record, have earned the right to take the lead.

 • To keep creative employees happy. Maintaining employee happiness isn’t only about money, benefits, or time off — it’s about being “in” on things, a part of the decision-making process, and being recognized as a valued member of the team.

 • When your team is passionate about a project, let them run with it.

 • When your team or individuals are ready to take on more, let them. How will they learn and grow if you’re always in control?

So, Do You Know When to Let Go? 

Are you a control freak? If you answered no, are you sure? Do any of the bullet points sound familiar? Do personality tests indicate you may be disposed to wanting to control … everything? Do you find yourself disagreeing with co-workers on how to do even the simplest tasks? Maybe, just maybe, it’s time to step back and let someone else have a little control, but not too much.

How Can I Help You?

I like to help people and organizations, but I have three criteria I consider before taking an assignment – I believe in what the organization stands for, I know I can help, and it looks like fun. If you have any questions, Contact Me. 

Does your business have a management training plan? Many organizations, large and small, use my book, The New Manager’s Workbook a crash course in effective management, as the basis for their leadership development program. Check it out.

Photo by Brett Jordan on Unsplash