As a business owner, your behavior has a direct correlation to the success or failure of your business. Especially if you tend to suffer from what I like to call controlitis, which is the overwhelming urge to have your hands in everything surrounding your business.
Business owners with this affliction tend to be perfectionists who truly believe that if you want something done right, you’ve got to do it yourself. Which ends up making them control freaks. They hate the anxiety of wondering if someone else will do the job right. They regularly feel pulled back into assuming control and more closely directing their team. But this urge for perfection can come at a high price for their businesses and I see it all the time as a business coach. Here are the five destructive behaviors that I come across a lot, and why they can really end up hurting your business.
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This one is always a popular choice and is one of the most common issues I see when coaching business owners. This is the inability to let competent people “own” work they have shown they can do well. You spent a lot of time and energy hiring key team members, and in many areas they are more educated and competent than you are. But you still can’t let go and let them do the job they were hired to do. Not only does this lead to a higher turnover, but it can also put you in a holding pattern of growth, because you are constantly having to hire new team members and train them. Micromanagers also have a much higher rate of burnout, as you have limited time and resources to do all the things that need to be done.
This behavior is seen when a leader blindly lets something important go in a passive or abrupt manner. This can be seen in all levels of the business, from putting off hiring or firing a team member until it is too late to not paying attention to cash flow and ultimately limiting business growth as a result. Being a leader means facing challenges head on and guiding your team to success.
Being set in your ways can really hurt your business in the long run. Your inability to make reasonable accommodations or entertain alternate ideas can not only prevent your business from growing, but also can result in the loss of key team members, business partners, or vendors in the process.
While you may not be hoarding in the physical sense, holding on to too many tasks or responsibilities because you are too anxious to let other people on your team “own” them can be another destructive behavior that can really cause a lot of damage within your company.
The final destructive behavior is another one that I see often as a business coach. A leader has the misguided idea that they must guard their institutional knowledge from their team out of a misplaced belief that it will make them indispensable. In reality, this just creates bottlenecks within your business, making it difficult for you to serve your customers and grow.
If you notice any of these destructive behaviors in yourself or other managers in your team, the key is to address it head on and take active steps to change the behavior.