Letting go

Another superb blog today from Roy Lilley at NHS Managers. net.  Here’s the bitly link:


“Bitly” is a brilliant free tool that can shorten any link for you – really useful for bloggers and especially useful for tweeters – saving loads of your 140 character limit…

The title of the piece was ‘letting go’.  It is all about trust, delegation, involvement, empowerment and delegating responsibility and accountability.  Yes, if your are chief exec, the buck should indeed stop at your desk (more later) (about desks). And  there do seem to have been too many times recently when the captain has abandoned the ship before all the passengers have been catered for.  But you should let go to get more done.

In case you are not convinced to go read yet, here’s perhaps my favourite section:

Don’t over organise; let-go and give people the space to self-organise and create natural, informal groups, gatherings, huddles and teams.  Leaders will emerge, consensus will surface and people will sparkle.  Give them room to innovate.  Understand it creates more failures than it does successes.  Asking people to innovate without being free to fail is like giving your other half a programme for a West End Show and calling it a night out. 

Isn’t that just stunningly simple?  As with all common sense, it isn’t that common in practice.  It takes guts, and a complete change of focus inside the managers head.


Keep them involved – and informed (from Trainers Library)

If you read my last blog, Funeral for a Friend, we had a movingly sad celebration of a great woman yesterday.  We were in county Durham and had plenty of hours to talk on the coach to and from.  One of my friends has been on courses with me and we chatted.  “I didn’t think I’d be able to let go of that task at all.  I love payroll”. (note from me: it takes all sorts, and thank goodness someone does!). “But our new person is more than capable of doing it – and in fact is embracing the recent PAYE changes easier than I could because it is all new for her. I’ve got 4 days of my month back now”.  I asked how this had been able to happen:

“Because I changed me”.

That is my only concern with any sort of obvious but rare approach.  Roy is right – this is absolutely the way forward.  There will be managers who think “that’s for other people not as successful as me” – and they will be wrong, long term.  There will be others who think “that’s all very well, but I’m paid to manage!”.  And they will expire overworked and unloved.  Then there will be the leaders, who think, “I should be doing this, and more”.  Their teams will thrive.  And so will they.

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