Most people would get greater comfort from the idea of being in control – after all the implication of not being in control, is being out of control – and who wants to be there?If you are managing, it implies that you are getting by, doing what’s needed to keep going, handling things as best you can. Most would agree, in this context, “managing” has negative connotations.
However, looking at this from a different perspective, both ‘controlling’ and ‘managing’ can mean the polar opposite to the above.
We each have areas in our life where we struggle to let go of control, whether it’s the tv remote at home, or the task at work that only you knows how to do properly. We have all heard of the phrase, ‘control freak’ and this can apply to business owners in many instances. Some business owners (particularly small business owners) really struggle to ‘let go’ and consequently hamper their ability to (i) develop the skills of their staff and build their self-esteem; and (ii) free up some of their time to work ON their business and tackle other important issues.
One of our business coaching clients, who came from an engineering background, found it impossible to let someone else be responsible for quality control in his manufacturing business. Through coaching, we were able to show him that by setting clear, written standards, the team on the production line were more aware of what was expected and he felt confident to hand over quality checks to a manager. This freed up the business owner to focus on product innovation and design, which was going to secure the company’s future.
If a business can be run by a manager, without the business owner’s day-to-day involvement, common logic is that venture’s value is greater than that of a similar one which still relies on its owner’s personal efforts. A good manager, whether a line manager or a general manager, will motivate their team and keep them focussed on delivering results.
So the truth is that the best method to run a small business is a combination of control and management, but the trick is to decide on what to control and what to manage. Here’s some free business advice that we give our business coaching clients: Control your goals, values, standards, principles and strategies. Manage your plans, activities and staff. This will in turn give you control over your outcomes and results. And as successful business owners know, it’s outcomes and results that really matter.