087: 10 Areas of a Security Company You Should Never Micromanage


Today I'm talking about 10 areas you should never micromanage as a security company. It's easy to want to micromanage. We’re owners because we have expertise. Then, as our companies grow, we micromanage out of fear.

When I started my company, I didn't know who to trust. It’s hard enough to bring in the right guards. It's harder to be confident when hiring accounting and HR staff.

Still, a big part of developing as a leader is recognizing that some things are outside your wheelhouse. You have to be able to trust that other people can handle some things. You need people around you who have different strengths than you do, so you don't have to be hands-on with everything. You also need to know how to ask them for a good, understandable outline of what's going on.

1) Accounting

When you're hiring, ask: How can I as an owner know that the books are in good order? Also, be sure they will give you the kind of reports you need. I didn't need a 15-page profit and loss statement. I just needed something that would give me a picture of how we were doing.

2) Human Resources

You need to be able to trust your HR person to make the kind of good decisions you would.

3) Marketing

Marketing has to drive results. We need to have common ground with our marketing department about the metrics. Then, the little check-ins are like checking your engine oil. You're not the person who is going to maintain the oil, but you need to be able to check it.

4) Busy Work

Being our picky selves as founders and owners, when we see things done a little different from how we would do them, we're inclined to have people go back and make changes. This is just busy work if it doesn’t change outcomes.

5) IT Issues

You can’t spend your time making sure everyone has laptops, computers, and phones. At the same time, IT people come in and use all kinds of fancy words and before you know it, a pretty big penny has gone out. You have to find someone you can trust. You also need to know enough to understand what they’re doing.

6) Customer Concerns

Allow the account managers who have direct relationships with customers to maintain those relationships. When things go wrong with customers, let account managers work it out. Phrases like "I need to get approval for that" or "My hands are tied; that's just our policy" can work very effectively for them. If you’re always jumping in, you lose a lot of negotiating power, because the customer knows that you have authority to make any decision you want.

7) Meetings

There's a fine line between a productive meeting and what could have been an email instead. Plus, if there’s a negative report, everyone leaves the meeting with a bad feeling. That doesn't contribute to operations.

8) Creativity

No one puts ideas into a "good idea" box, and you can't micromanage the creative staff.

9) Purchase Decisions

If the departments have to justify every purchase, it cripples productivity. Let them work within a budget. You should, however, be involved with major decisions like purchasing company vehicles, cell phones, and uniforms.

10) Tracking Time

Track outcomes instead of time. Think about what high level outcomes you expect. Make sure staff deliver the outcomes, but give them responsibility to manage their time and their schedule.

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Chris Anderson

Chris is the founder of Silvertrac Software and has been working in the security industry for more than 25 years. He enjoys working with clients daily to help them grow their businesses and really enjoy what they are doing. Chris currently lives and works in Seal Beach, CA.