I think we are all micromanagers at heart. This week’s reading is a short piece by John Baldoni, “Get Involved without Being a Micromanager: 3 Tips” which recently appeared in BNET’s leadership blog.
We all dive deeply into the details; sometimes when we are the only one with the necessary skills and expertise. But, more often it’s counterproductive and even harmful. And, too often we do so when we need to feel that we are personally making a difference.
Baldoni provides three guidelines to help us decide when to dive in:
1. Focus on your expertise. If you are the expert, go for it. Otherwise, defer to “the experts on the ground.”
2. Keep you hand in it. When you move up the organizational ladder, it’s hard to let go of work that you care deeply about. Yet you must let go, delegating much of what you did so well in order to take on your new responsibilities. Still, sometimes it may be appropriate for you to reserve a small amount of the most significant tasks for yourself.
3. Find your juice. Feeling a sense of accomplishment as a leader is a matter of mobilizing the team to action and achieving results. And, when the team succeeds there is a great deal of satisfaction, for the team and for you. As a leader you need to get your “juice” from your team’s successes.
Baloni suggests, in closing, that knowing when to jump in and when to hold back is difficult. But note, when you do jump in, you prevent those on the ground from figuring things out for themselves. Much better to let those closest to the issue, find the fix, and by doing so, learn not just how to fix this problem but also how to avoid it the next time it occurs.
Showing others what to look for and how to respond is a leader’s more important legacy.
Hope you have a great week. . . . jim