You’ve heard the horror stories of employees with terrible bosses, you’ve spent hours hoping you weren’t that boss and not knowing how to tell if you did something wrong. The truth is, it’s a lot more effective to focus on what you can do to make your employee’s lives better. So to help you do that, we’re starting the Employee Diaries.
What They Are:
These are stories from Grow Disrupt employees, highlighting the things that Stephanie has done that made their lives easier as employees and helped them find ownership in their roles within the company.
This Week: Susannah Scheller, “When my boss scared me by trusting me…”
I’ll never forget one of the first times Stephanie scared the living daylights out of me.
It was my 3rd year running tech for the Grow Retreat, and she came to me with a dilemma. The past 2 years of tech at the Grow Retreat had been a mad dash to get everything put together, and the tech side of things had been shoddy at best. So she came to me with a dilemma, and asked me for a solution.
She said “Susannah, I want AV to be great this year. What do you need me to buy to make this year’s AV great?”
Somehow, she had gotten the idea that I was a tech-guru because I’d taken a college class on AV and therefore knew what to call an instrument cable (pretty basic technology). To be fair, I did know more than Stephanie. I still do, because I’ve continued to learn and grow as an Audio Engineer. But in the tech world, anyone who knows more than you seems to be a tech-genius because they know things you don’t and blow your mind.
Honestly? I felt like she had more faith in me than I had in myself.
My first instinct was to freeze up and shy away from communicating because I was just plain scared. She trusted me, and what if I messed it up? It was a little terrifying!
When she came to me next and asked for my list of recommended equipment, I was still scared. But at that point, I spent several solid hours in research to make sure I didn’t have her purchase something that wouldn’t serve us well. The good news? We ultimately ended up finding a good system for a decently inexpensive price and it has lasted us several years and level-ups in the company.
Probably the most important piece of this situation was that Stephanie didn’t just hand over a problem to me and say “fix this on your own.”
She asked me what she needed to do for me to be successful with the job she wanted me to do.
I would bet that her words were carefully chosen, and that her study of psychology informed her interaction with me. She chose to approach me in a way that displayed confidence and trust that I didn’t even have in myself. And by trusting me, by telling me she was here to support me in making my role in the company a success, she empowered me to step into the role of Technology Director. Instead of micromanaging, she gave me a goal and told me to come to her for the help I needed hitting that goal.
I’ve worked for people who micromanaged me. It was a mess! I wasn’t inspired (so my work suffered) and the projects weren’t successful. In fact, I felt so miserable that I couldn’t wait to get away from those people!
But when I work for someone who empowers me to excel at my job by trusting me to do it, I tend to end up with results that hit the mark every time.
So my advice to you is this: start small.
Find little things you can trust your employees with, and slowly start trusting them with more until you can give them an objective and trust them to find the best way to achieve it!
About the Author:
Susannah Scheller is the Technology Director and Engagement Curator for Grow Disrupt, and was the first permanent hire made by Stephanie! She has spent countless hours studying the world of business under Stephanie, and has over 5 years of experience in content creation and Technology Execution. Having recently completed her Bachelor of Music, she has begun devoting her focus to the creation of content that helps to support small business owners’ company growth the world over.