There are a lot of business owners or executive leaders who  prefer to stay out of the way of their team members in order to let them succeed.  Their mantra is "hire great people and let them run".  The problem with this approach is that sometimes it is not that simple.  What happens when you hire great people, but they become misaligned with the organization?  This is when the "let them run" management style creates problems.

I have sat in the offices of many such owners or executives as they complain about a particular employee who is creating significant problems for their organization.  They complain about it in a way that employees complain about a bad supervisor.  They tell story after story confirming how misaligned the employee is and what they are doing wrong. 

I get bored with these kinds of conversations pretty quickly.  Why?  It is simply not very useful to talk about all of the things that someone else is doing wrong when the other person is not present for the conversation.  When an executive complains about the damage a particular employee has done to the company, I usually ask a question.  "Do you know whose fault this is?".  The executive often pauses a little surprised.  Haven't we been talking about that?  Then I let them know. 

"It's your fault". 

If you have an employee who has hijacked your business or organization, it is absolutely your fault not theirs.  It is your fault because you are the one that is giving them the power to do it.  In fact, you are paying them to do it! 

Don't complain about a poor employee.  Do something about it.  Talk to them.  Listen to them, but then make sure they know what they need to do to stay a member of your team. 

Before you think I'm only talking to owners and executives here, let's flip the situation.  What about an employee who complains about their supervisor or their company?  It’s a similar situation.  What are you going to do about it? 

Employees can fire their bosses by taking a different job.  If you are unhappy with your supervisor or with the company in general, try talking about it to the people who can do something about it.  Be reasonable and thoughtful about your approach.  What is it they could really do to make you feel better about your job?  What could YOU do to make yourself feel better?

There are times when you just need to take control!

Categories: Management

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