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Do you do too much?

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I”m kind of a do it yourselfer. I”ve come up in the ranks as a small business owner and never really experienced the good ole days of having a secretary or a maintenance staff at my beckon call. In a small business, if you see something that needs to be done, you just get up and do it.

A couple years ago a new employee came to my office and asked where the “Maintenance Requisition Forms”# were. He had a light bulb out in his office and needed it replaced. I took him down the hall and pointed him to the closet and said “they”re in there.”# In the closet was the ladder and the light bulbs. I told him to be careful on the ladder and be sure to close out the ticket when he was done.

When you come up in a culture wear you wear many hats sometimes you just take on the attitude that, “it”s quicker to do it myself than to ask someone else.”# I”ve caught myself going behind employees who may have not completed a task the way I thought it needed to be done and just fixed it on the fly. I”d rationalize that there was no need to interrupt them and by the time I could explained it, I could just do it myself.

But at what cost? If you do too much, you run risk of never teaching your staff things that you know could better shape their actions. You miss fundamental opportunities to share with them how you see things, and you also miss chances to explain why you do things a certain way. The worse part is that years can go by while you are stuck living with the repeated frustration of having to go behind or correct things that in your mind, “weren”t up to par.”#

The next time you think about being courteous and avoiding interrupting someone to come back and correct something, think again. The time you invest in explaining is well worth the effort and in the long run, better for your company. My experience has been that employees prefer to understand and are happy to do things the way you see them if they know what you”re looking for.

So kick back, don”t do so much and explain things a lot more. Long term growth for your business depends on it.