Letting Go

I’m in my last three weeks of full time work, and I find myself struggling a bit. In addition to my day job, I’m in full training mode for those on my team who will be taking parts of what I do, and preparing to train another person yet to be hired. My calendar is completely full, work blog posts still have deadlines, and I realize I’m only thinking about a second cup of morning coffee at 1pm. (Lunch? What’s that?) Add to that an imminent major business trip, a few speaking gigs and Twitterchats, and for some extra fun, one or two urgent issues that need to be addressed for my mother in law. I hope you’ll realize why I’m a wee bit stressed.

Breathe.

I need to keep myself going by focusing on what I can do, what I need to delegate, and identify what I just can’t do at all.  It’s called Letting Go, and it’s a lot harder than I thought. Here’s what I’ve learned so far.

  • Once you’ve taught the lesson, step back.  Resist the urge to go in and correct mistakes.
  • If presentations are involved, start training as soon as possible. Have your staff shadow a couple of times, and then you step back and let them go, providing moral support.
  • Give lots of positive feedback. Everyone is trying as hard as they can. As long as a mistake is not major, just let it go.
  • Offer to help with the grunt work that no one wants to do, to take some of the pressure off. Let everyone else do the more important tasks that will contribute to learning.
  • No one will ever do things the way you do, so don’t expect it. Make sure your team knows that as well. Be up front about how you’re encouraging creativity. Who knows? They may find a better way.

If you have a good team in place, keeping a death grip on the important things will not do them any favors. I have a great team behind me, and starting in March, I will be the one behind them. I’ve never been in that position in my career, and I’m finding it very uncomfortable.

This brings me to my new mantra: Embrace the differences that will now happen, and don’t worry. It will all work out. If it doesn’t… well, we all know we learn more from our mistakes than our successes.

I can’t move on to my next chapter of The Consultant until I close the one I’m in right now as The Guru. I need to Let Go.