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Managers Need to Teach ... NOT Do!


The ONLY way to be able to grow an organization is to delegate to those who work for you … to leverage yourself through a team.  Whether you are a supervisor within a larger organization, an entrepreneur growing a business or an executive in a large company you face that same challenge. 

You will probably want your team (a) to do things the way you would have done them (b) to get the results that you want.

In the real world it doesn’t quite work that way … because we are not all the same.

What you should aim for is … (a) your team to get the results you want (b) operating within the guidelines that you establish.

For some managers the result is all that is important … but results at any cost are usually not sustainable, AND sustainable is important too.  There are also the issues of corporate culture, ethics, processes etc that can easily be compromised when the only concern is the result!  You might not want your staff “fishing with dynamite”!

So, as the saying goes, you need to teach your people to fish … or perhaps more precisely you need to ensure that they are fishing within the “rules” …

1.  You need to resist the urge to “do it yourself” … remember teach, don’t do!

2.  You need to resist the urge to force your staff to do it exactly the way you would do it, because we all have our own style. 

3.  You need to establish guidelines and parameters.  These might be financial constraints (eg margin guidelines), ethical boundaries (eg don’t take your client to Scotland for a golf trip) and/or targets (eg number of calls, sales pipeline metrics etc).

4.  You need to establish a regular feedback mechanism to provide ongoing mentor-ship and ensure things are progressing to plan.

5.  You need to give your staff some rope … which can get longer as your trust grows!

6.  You need to expect some hiccups, and deal with them accordingly … as learning exercises, NOT as a means to beat your staff up!

7.  Eventually you will become less involved and able to devote time elsewhere … just don’t forget to stay close enough that you understand when things go off the rails.

Giving up control is one of the hardest things for any manager.  You were probably promoted because you were good at “doing something” … now you have to learn to be good at teaching other people to have the same success, and not do it yourself!