I write about the damage done when, as leaders, we don’t fully allow employees to have control over their tasks, projects or budgets. Everyone I know says they hate being micromanaged, and we certainly don’t want to list “control freak” as a skill to be endorsed for on our LinkedIn profile page. Yet, there are signs of low trust/high control managers everywhere. But no one will admit to being one of them.
And it’s not just the nemesis of new, inexperience managers who are nervous and learning to use their delegation skills. It plagues leaders from the top to the bottom of an organization: new leaders, old leaders, promoted from within, hired from the outside. And the list of reasons to stay involved in the nitty gritty details goes something like this:
· “I am not telling them how to do it, just what they need to do.”
· “It’s faster for me to do it myself.”
· “I’m role modeling how to do it so they know what to do next time.”
· “The stakes are too high for this to fail, I need to be involved to protect my team.”
· “I am not above doing the dirty work alongside you. I am just being a servant leader.”
Many of these leaders are well intentioned, they do just want to help their direct reports or expedite progress toward a goal. But too often, it just gums up the works as things grind to halt waiting for executive review. One common issue is the senior leader who wants to approve every new hire. And we are not talking small companies who hire less than ten people a year. This is practice at many large organizations who have to review thousands of resumes. And really, without interviewing the candidate yourself, or knowing the ins and outs of every job in every department in a large company, do you really think you know who the best candidate for the job will be? C’mon.
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