Are You a Leader or an Editor?

No one likes to be thought of as a micromanager–probably because no one likes to be micromanaged! Yet do you occasionally find yourself getting mired in the details of your team’s work and taking back the monkey you handed over to them when the project first started?

Author Steven Sinofsky makes the point that all too often, managers who ought to be empowering their team fall into the trap of editing their team’s work. They don’t stop and ask themselves whether their critiquing and tweaking have actually improved upon the team’s work or just imprinted upon it.

Here’s a quick summary of 3 common patterns Sinofsky has identified that indicate your management style may need improvement:

  1. When you receive work from your direct report, you just can’t leave it alone. You critique not only the information but the way it’s presented, and you focus not just on the mistakes but on the format, style, etc.
  2. At the start, when you delegate work, you may only vaguely describe what success looks. Then you stay involved in the in-between steps to that success to make sure things go your way.
  3. When asking the team to creatively solve a big, vaguely defined problem, you ask your team for a list of options and recommendations, and you indicate that you’ll know the best answer when you see it.

Do any of those patterns sound familiar to you? Is your team having trouble being creative because they’re so busy trying to guess what you’re really after? There’s a lot more to leadership than just editing, and you’ll have to read the full article here for Sinofsky’s description of leadership. But here’s one last thought from him: Leading is realizing there a few perfect answers and many great answers.

Are you experiencing a shortage of knowledge workers? Read these tips on hiring someone with transferable skills.

Amtec Bitz Newsletters

Essential industry highlights & expert insights every month.

Latest Posts

View all posts