I must admit I have a good number of pet peeves in leadership. Leadership is hard. But, there are some principals in leadership, which simply need to be adhered to for good leadership.
Let me share a story as an illustration of one of my pet peeves.
Years ago, I had a boss tell me who to place on my team. He told me how to conduct sales meetings with my department. He told me what each person’s assignments would be. And, he told me how to conduct the meeting – going as far as to write out my agenda.
He wasn’t going to be at the meeting. He didn’t actually know the people on my team. He was holding me accountable for results in sales, but yet he continually gave me the script for how to do my job. I had to turn in reports, which indicated I had followed his agenda.
I hated it. I felt so controlled. My team, with whom I was very open and honest, were frustrated. And, when I could, I secretly altered things and scripted my own way. Maybe it was rebellion – okay, it was rebellion, but, I never thought he was practicing good leadership. And, I experienced direct results in employee morale.
Here’s the pet peeve, which developed from this experience.
If you aren’t going to be doing the actual work, don’t script how it’s done.
As a leader, you can share what you want accomplished. That’s vision-casting.
You can set reasonable boundaries. This actually helps fuel creativity.
You can share your thoughts and ideas. It’s helpful. You probably have good ones.
You can monitor progress. This is your responsibility.
You can even hold people accountable for progress. It ensures completion.
But the people who are actually doing the work
The ones carrying out the plans – Getting their hands dirty –
Should determine how the actual work gets completed.
There, I feel better.