One of the things I have noticed a lot when working with teams leads is the desire for control; the need to know what is going on at all times, to have an opinion on all decisions and to sign off on all transactions. Now, to be fair there are quite a few things that do need supervising and approval, but it is not everything.
One of the characteristics of high performing companies and organizations is a clearly defined set of principles and beliefs (P&B) that motivate and dictate all decisions made by both management and associates. If you want some good examples of this, check out Outback Steakhouse and Marriott International. These P&B’s need to published everyone, used for new hire selection and on boarding engraved into associates where they become part of everyday vocabulary. I have seen first-hand how powerful this can be…and more importantly as a manager it saves you from a ton of “may I speak to the manager?” requests from customers.
A wise man once said about how he governed (managed) a large group of people, “I teach correct principles and they govern themselves…” If you teach your people correct principles and allow them to make decisions that will help generate success, however you define it, you will find that your business will flourish and grow in ways you never thought possible because you have a team of ambassadors of your business plan and ideals. If you clamp them down and put policy and procedures ahead of people…you will find much frustration and lack-luster engagement (even if they don’t show it).
So, let them fly; be ok with a little less control than you may like but protect your investment by giving them a set of P&B’s they can follow and own, the tools to be successful and you results will be amplified.