Posted On February 2nd, 2016 by Crowded Ocean
If you’ve been to ORACLE World in the past fifteen years, you’ve been one of 50,000 attendees at one of the industry’s largest and most influential events. But events like OOW don’t just spring up—they evolve.
I was reminiscing the other night with someone who had worked with me at Oracle at the inception of OOW. Back then it was called ‘International Oracle User Week’ and all 400 attendees and exhibits could fit into the Washington Hilton. Five years the event had exploded, been renamed, and we were signing a long-term contract with Moscone Center in San Francisco.
One of the biggest challenges for both of us, as the event grew, was how to move from being an individual contributor—where getting the job done fell directly on us—to a manager, where we achieved through the efforts of others. The formula was simple: take what you know, impart it to others, then let them do their jobs.
That’s the formula. The reality is this: most likely, since you’re the expert, you could do the job better than they could. And, depending on the importance of the task, you’re going to be tempted to move them aside at the last minute and complete the task yourself. But unless the issue at hand is a company game-saver, don’t. You’re not only projecting a sense of distrust but, unless you want to be stuck as an individual contributor forever, you’re going to have to do the same thing over—this time with a disgruntled employee.
Our advice? At the danger of being seen to be micro-managing, check in early and often—until you’re confident that the task is in hand. Set smaller, incremental goals that can alert you earlier than usual when a task might be going awry.
Most importantly, encourage the employee at each step and congratulate them at the conclusion. And recognize that, just as they’re stepping up to learn a new skill, so are you.