Until I learned the seven most important words for running a company, my nickname was “No Life” because I had no time to myself. If employees had a question about anything, they simply asked me, and I’d give them the correct answer. As we grew, this process really got out of hand until one day I realized it had to stop.
It happened when I was “in the can,” and one of my salesmen came in just so he could ask me a question. I was shocked—I couldn’t even go to the bathroom without being interrupted. Enough was enough! I realized that my poor management technique had caused them to stop thinking for themselves. That’s when I learned the 7 most important words that would give me back my life. Henceforth, whenever an employee asked me a question, I’d reply by saying, “I don’t know, what do you think?”
Initially, most of them didn’t know how to reply and looked like deer staring into headlights. However, in time they realized they could not simply identify a problem or throw me a question: they had to give me three possible solutions.
Once I adopted this management style, I learned that my employees were very intelligent, and many times had better solutions than I. When I challenged them even more by asking which one of their three solutions was the best, they generally picked the right one.
How do you run your company? Is your nickname “No Life.” Do you empower your employees to think for themselves? If you don’t, you might take my management style for a test drive. You may find that you get to your destination faster and without hitting as many bumps in the road!
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