Dear Aunty B,
My second-in-charge recently told me that he needed more autonomy to do his job. He also suggested that I move from sitting with the team into an office so I would not be interrupted all the time. Although he was very nice about it I know what he thinks; that I am a control freak and should leave them all alone.
But I am just a passionate leader who likes to work alongside the troops.
Is he overstepping the line?
Are you nuts? Of course you are a control freak. You probably started your business because you are good at what you do and thought you could do it better than your boss – or anyone else. And that obviously is still the case.
You are too busy doing routine jobs that your staff can handle. You are doing this I guess for three reasons.
1. You can do it faster and better than others.
2. You can’t afford more resources.
3. You love doing it and find other tasks more difficult – like finding new
customers or managing the cash cycle better.
Let’s deal with number one. Been on a holiday lately? Did your staff handle things perfectly while you were away… thought so. Suzi, you are utterly dispensable.
Can’t afford more resources? What if you were a consultant? What is your time worth? $150 an hour? $250 an hour? What would you pay an extra member of staff? Not nearly that much.
As for loving what you do; well, don’t we all. But you are running a business. So carve out a small and regular role for yourself that keeps your hand in – and do it from your office.
If all this creates a sense of insecurity, it means one thing. Your management skills are not up to scratch. You do not have enough processes in place to incentivise staff and measure outcomes.
So Suzi, off to the office where you can spend some time managing the business and working on strategy. And congratulate yourself. I would love a 2iC like that.