If you’re a business owner or at the helm of an SME or a corporate department, checking out for a holiday or one of those situations when life throws you a curve ball, can be tricky. If you’ve made yourself indispensable and the business can’t function without you, everyone feels it when you’re not there - you, your team and the clients!
Life has ups and downs and sometimes you need to be away from the office. And if you’re a good leader, you should expect your business to carry on as usual.
How so? Easy - if you’ve got a team who’ve got your back. With a few well placed protocols your business can be ready to keep calm and carry on - even when you’re not there.
1. TRUST YOUR TEAM
Recruiting right is imperative. When you’re faced with challenges that keep you away from the office, you must be able to trust your colleagues to carry the can. To make the decisions with confidence. To keep projects rolling and balls in the air. And to know what’s sensitive or complex enough to go on hold. They pull together, and rely on each other. You’ve led them so well they have the tools to function brilliantly even when you’re not there. It’s the ultimate compliment for a leader.
2. BE REMOTE
Capacity to work outside of the office is crucial for most of us. We don’t just mean checking emails on your smart-phone, but the greater capacity of a compact but truly portable office – notebook, transportable wifi, updated contacts. True, you don’t want to feel the demands of your business on a family holiday. But if you’re called away unexpectedly, or unexpected demands and decisions arise back at the office, it’s smart business to be portable. Technology rules. Use it.
Andrew Griffiths, an influencer for entrepreneurs all over the world, is said to have a portable wifi device from most leading Australian service carriers. When asked why, he says ‘because you just never know when you will need them.’ It pays to be prepared.
3. PUSH THE WORK DOWN
Micro-managing and the old hierarchical ways of managing down have gone the way of the dinosaurs. If you’ve got great team players on board, they’ll relish opportunities to use their initiative and act autonomously. They don’t want to be managed. But they don’t mind being led.
If there’s a task you can do, but the same could be done by one of your direct reports, then push the work down. Their work might not be an exact replica of yours, but the quality is likely to be close. Their sense of achievement from being trusted with the task is a powerful thing for you. Because next time you’re not around, and a decision must be made or a task actioned, they’re right across it.
As a leader you have a greater depth of experience than those around you. But you recognise that those on your team have great ideas to. And if they’re different from yours, that’s a strength. Kindle it, and keep it on your side!
Simon Sineck, author and coach to world class leaders, believes, ‘We’re not good at everything, we’re not good by ourselves. Our ability to build trust and relationships is the key to our survival.’
So prepare your business today. So that when you’re there and when you’re not, your team’s got your back.