Who is the problem? The executive or the subordinates

5 min Reading | Alfonso Seijo
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Many times, the executive of a company is “busy” and getting his nose on everything. Apparently, in the eyes of others or even of himself, by being the “boss” he should have the solution for the problems of all his subordinates. Of course, if he is there, it is because he surely knows everything related to his business or at least enough to run it.

Having that feeling of “when I am not there everything falls” can give the idea that he is a great executive and that it is essential that he is immersed in the activities of the company, controlling every item involved in the critical path of his business. Some even proudly cry out “I’m too busy, I can’t leave my business (area) for a moment.” However, objectively speaking, being in this situation for a long time is only a sign that this senior executive is not being able to build a solid, committed, and organized team.

Let us look at an orchestra director vigorously waving his baton to mark the rhythm and expression of a musical work; we do not find him playing each of the instruments. He directs and the result brings about harmony and communication between all the members of the orchestra.
An executive gets others to get the work done, his main mission is the strategic planning of his area and to obtain the results from it through the hiring and continuous training of the required personnel.

He asks, where are the results? At what time is this project finished? Why is it not finished? He unjams and investigates only what is necessary to get the results. He does not produce them nor elaborate them; he gets them achieved and he does it by working with his team. The moment the executive must do it himself and acquires the compulsion to control everything, is when he loses his point of view.

When he solves his subordinate’s problems, he prevents them from growing and he would be more and more tied to the chair.

We often hear subordinates asking, “is this okay?”; by responding, the executive is assuming himself the responsibility for that issue. Things are fine or they are not according to the established parameters in the operation. If the executive is frequently answering these types of questions, it could be a training issue or simply a matter of encouraging his subordinates to start declaring if something is right or not rather than asking. In any case, the executive must build his staff to get them to take responsibility, allow them to evolve and to know when something is right or not.

If we think that all those under our care are less capable, then one will end up doing everything or making the final decisions.

It is a fact that no person can replicate another 100%. Not everyone will think and act exactly as we would; we would have to have under our command an army of clones made from us. The goal does not necessarily have to obey the idea of: Getting everyone to think and act as I would; the real goal is to get them to get the job done; they may do it with another style or with another tone, but ultimately our main concern is that they do so and that their result brings value to the business.

An executive who has been built as such, wants results and that his area or company expands and guarantees its future expansion. When we ever hear someone say “I have all the time in the world, my company works without me having to be there”, we will know that we have before us a true executive who has managed to build a great, capable and reliable team that produces the expected results.

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