Jan 19th, 2022

Courage

Part 2: Give up Control

Written by: Craig Vosper, Chief Delivery Officer

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Last week I talked about how scary it is asking stupid questions and this week I wanted to up the fear by talking about letting go of control – trusting others to do their jobs. This is especially difficult when there is a lot of pressure on a project and things have gone wrong in the past.

I don’t know how many times I’ve heard one of our team members say something like “it will take me longer to tell them what I need than if I just do it myself”. I think this is the ultimate lie we tell ourselves when we are scared of losing the tasks we want to keep to ourselves.

I’m sure there are organizations where this fear might be warranted and that would be a sad situation to have to deal with. Thankfully, however, I haven’t had to deal with that for over 20 years; but I still have had a hard time giving up control.
The only way to truly help your teams grow and become more valuable is to let them do just that! This might mean that you become a little less important, at least in respects to completing those tasks they are taking over. Of course, if you want to grow, this will allow you to find other ways to focus your time and energy.

For instance, I’ve begun moving away from worrying about every sprint completing on time and shifted my focus to working with customers – ensuring that the sprint was useful in the first place. Not only is that more valuable to them, but it’s also a lot more fun for me!

Don’t get me wrong, there are times when a leader should step in to take control of a situation and use their experience to guide it to a successful outcome. But I believe that those situations should be few and far between. We should be focused on understanding the root of the issue that required your involvement in the first place.

So let it go and find new ways to grow!