Many self-made entrepreneurs struggle with micromanagement, the fear-based tendency to control every aspect of their business operations. Owners and managers spend valuable time and resources finding and hiring the best and the brightest workers, only to hinder their hired talent’s ability and creativity by micromanaging everything they do.
Even Jackson Lintz, one of the partners in the HighKey brand empire, admits to struggling with micromanagement when he began working with his older brothers, who founded HighKey.
“It was difficult for me to hire out certain tasks because I was doing it for so long, and I wasn’t sure anyone could do it just as well,” says Jackson. “I was hesitant to give up customer support emails because I enjoyed making customers happy.”
Jackson had to juggle many responsibilities as the HighKey brand became a multi-million dollar enterprise. HighKey now includes several branches: HighKey Clout (celebrity giveaways), HighKey Agency (social media management, press, and websites), HighKey Real Estate, and HighKey Technology, among others. As the businesses scaled, so did the workload, and Lintz says it forced him to get over his tendency of holding onto too many tasks.
Slowly but surely, he learned to let go of the work he used to have such a hard time delegating. Not only did this empower HighKey employees to apply themselves — but it also allowed Jackson to focus on the other aspects of growing a business.
He says the key is communicating what needs to get done.
“After the plan is in place, I allow my workers to communicate with each other as they work to get the job done,” says Lintz. “I then take a step back and simply observe for any errors to see if there’s any way to improve the process to make it more efficient.”
What does this management style look like in action? Jackson says that when he oversees website projects, it always starts with creating a Basecamp task that includes everyone working on the website and a list of all the items that need to go into it.
“I give the web developer all the details of what the client wants, and they collaborate directly with the content creator to make content for the website that fits the design. I will suggest edits and new ideas as the project progresses and then everyone comes back together to go over the finished product before we show the client,” says Jackson.
“The client then gives their feedback and we create the final draft and host it!”
Jackson’s experience in leading HighKey’s employees has taught him what truly makes a great manager: effectively communicating what needs to be accomplished and trusting your people to do a great job with minimal direct supervision.
Jackson, the youngest of the HighKey Lintz brothers, says he wants to see other entrepreneurs and company executives let go of the micromanagement mindset.
“It’s important to remove things off your plate, especially when your business starts to scale and you need to focus on more important tasks,” says Jackson.
Jackson says he will continue adapting his management style and processes as HighKey continues to expand.