Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Let Them Do Their Job

One of the things that Jim Phelps did very well was to allow his team to do their jobs without micromanaging them. 

Willy was an expert at logistics.  Phelps didn’t dictate how Willy was going to set up a fake hotel or hospital in the middle of a hostile country.  Willy was an expert at this and Phelps let him do his job.

Barney was an electronics expert and engineer.  Phelps didn’t tell Barney what brand of listening devices to use.  Barney was an expert and he let him do his job.  

Rollin Hand was a master of disguise.  Phelps didn’t dictate to him what brand of disguises to buy or how to apply them.  He was an expert in his field and he let Rollin do his job.

Remember also that there was a lot at stake... on "Mission: Impossible", Phelps was warned that every mission carried with it the risk of being "caught or killed".  On top of this was the fact that a failed mission could have led to the outbreak of war (including nuclear attacks!) Despite this, Phelps was smart enough to let his people do their job every time.  He didn’t dictate their tools or methods.  He judged them for their results. 

The last time I checked, nuclear war has never been the likely result of a water line break or a sewer spill.  If you think about it, you will realize that there really is time to let your people take ownership of their work and do their jobs without excess micromanagement from you.  They need a little time to think through the process, to plan a course of action, to gather the proper materials.  If you make all the decisions for them, then they will never learn on their own.    

What is YOUR job as a manager?  
- To establish what success looks like.  
- To communicate this to your people. 
- To let them do thier job.
- To judge them for results.
- To work with those who can be improved.
- To replace those who fail to deliver results consistently.  

You have PLENTY to do without doing your people's jobs for them. Stick to what is your and leave them to do what is their's.  

ACTION:  Let you people do their jobs and judge only their results.  This is the way to both win and build ownership amongst your team.  

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