Bo Burlingham’s book “Small Giants” covered 14 businesses that chose to stay small, as opposed to being bought out or going public, and the things they did to help them succeed.
There were a ton of great lessons in the book, and I encourage you to check it out for yourself, but a great one came from the company Reell. Two employees were having a problem, and took the issue to one of the two co-CEOs, Bob Carlson. After hearing the problem, Bob gave a simple response:
It’ll be interesting to see how you guys figure this out.
Reell was so successful because they had well-trained employees that were equipped to solve problems on their own, and Carlson was pushing for them to work it out themselves. They did, and everyone was better off as a result of it.
This kind of trust in their employees is part of what makes Reell such a great company. It takes time to build that kind of trust in your team, but it can speed up communication and it can help companies progress much more quickly.
Carlson likely could have offered his opinion and solved the problem, saving a bit of time for everyone, but by pushing his team to work it out themselves he helped grow more trust for the long run.
If you trust your team, let them figure it out.