3 Strategies to Break the Cycle of Managing to Others
Great leaders attract great talent who produce great results. However, while some people are born natural leaders, we all must make a conscious effort to lead in a way that keeps our team engaged and thriving – especially through challenging times like we are living in now.
However, there can be a fine line between being an engaged leader and being the dreaded micro-manager. I have yet to talk to anyone who loves to be micromanaged. An accessible manager? Yes. An engaged manager? Absolutely. But when you are managing to others, it can quickly erode the trust you need for success. For some of us, letting go of the reins can be one of the hardest challenges we face in our role as leader. Afterall, we got to where we are today because of our keen attention to the details and our ability to run a project on our own from A to Z. But breaking the cycle of micromanagement is a must if you want to keep great talent around. Sound familiar? If so, try these 3 strategies to break out of the cycle of micromanagement:
Don’t be a taskmaster – Manage expectations instead
In our new normal of widespread remote working, letting go of our micromanaging tendencies is being put the test. This is uncharted territory for many of us. But one thing is for certain…the highly educated, accomplished employees you hired do not want a taskmaster following them around. Instead, they want clear expectations up front and to be encouraged to run with their ideas. As a leader, switching our thinking to ‘what tasks need to be done’ to ‘what are my expectations for this project’s outcome’ – will make all the difference.
Focus on at least 10,000-foot view
Sometimes as leaders we find ourselves ‘deep in the weeds’ – and lose sight of our organization’s authentic self. From time to time, leaders should pause and take at least a 10,000-foot view to ensure they are leading the culture they envision. With as fast as things move, taking a pulse check to steer the ship back on course is a must.
Technology is your friend – when you just must know the details
When all else fails, technology can be a micromanagers best friend – especially, in the remote working world. Having a project management tool that allows for transparency is key – both for your team to collaborate effectively and to keep you in loop (without bugging them on every little detail). There is not one solution that works for all, so do you research on what project management tools might work best for your company.
At the end of the day, we all want to work for someone who respects and trusts our abilities to do the things we were hired to do. Remember – A good leader:
- Establishes relationships built on trust
- Sets clear expectations up front
- Recognizes and rewards great performance
- Coaches and develops talent
- Gives regular feedback
When you practice these strategies – along with letting go of those reins we talked about above – you will be the leader people admire, support and want to partner with for years to come.
Looking to strengthen your leadership ability? Head on over to our website to download your copy of Balanced Leadership: Managing Others. If your organization could benefit from a new perspective during this challenging time, I encourage you to contact my team and I at East Tenth Group today.