Yes – I did say the rule of Brian NOT the Rule of Brain (isn’t that a horror story?), or The Life of Brian. And NO – I have not finally lost the plot. Let me explain.
We were with friends of ours at the weekend – and we were talking about an old friend called Brian. We were talking about whether one of our friends should change their morning routine now that their child had changed school and was nearer – and therefore needed less time to get there in the morning. Our friend said that she felt it was mean to make him get up at the earlier time now he didn’t need to, and someone said – “Remember the RULE of BRIAN!”. “Of course,” we all said, “the rule of Brian – it makes perfect sense”.
But what IS the rule of Brian?
Well – our friend Brian – when he had small children – had a rule (which became known as the rule of Brian. And it was this. If everything is going smoothly, the kids are behaving themselves and that is giving you a bit of peace and /or sanity – DON’T CHANGE ANYTHING.
He rightly observed, that if you upset the equilibrium at that stage, anything was likely to happen and the resulting chaos was entirely your own fault. On that basis – if our friend left the wake up time exactly as it was, her son was used to waking at that time, and it would just mean he had more time for breakfast or the walk to school. Why upset the applecart?
And that’s a bit like work.
I was with a client the other week, and we were talking about the impact he realised he was having on his business. He would go into a department – poke his finger in, offer suggestions on ‘how to do it better’ and end up messing everything else, because they didn’t really need his help and he had just created a load more work that didn’t need doing anyway.
He figured that the reason he was doing it was because he was starting to feel a bit redundant in his own business. And I congratulated him. He looked bemused until I explained that meant he was doing a great job! Your ultimate job as a business owner IS to make yourself redundant because THEN (and only then) do you really HAVE a business. Up to that point you are just self employed with a few people working for you and the worst boss in the world (that’s yourself).
The rule with ‘helping’ as a boss is – find out if they NEED any help first. And if they do not, if you ‘walk into the room’ and everything is going well, just stop, reverse and tiptoe your way back out . Because the Art of Leadership, is that your people do what they have to do without you having to ask, or get involved. Sometimes less is more!
Can you think of a time when you have poked your nose in when you didn’t need to? Have you got that situation now – or the fall out from it. Or are you longing for the day when you won’t have to poke your nose in and they will just get on with it? If you need a chat about how to make that happen email me on [email protected]
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Julie Hutchison is co-Director with Jan Sargent of Transforming Performance, a consultancy which provides businesses with expert support in Leadership Coaching, Team Development and Performance Coaching, Executive Coaching, Mentoring, Training and Behavioural Profiling and help in getting the best from you and your people. If you’d like to have a chat and a coffee to discuss how we can help you, we’d love to talk. Call us on:
01722 484155 or 07947 823842