Note: This was a series of talks I gave to leadership in my organization, so some of the comments here might not make sense in the context of a blog post.
This is not original work: I pulled heavilty from these four books to put together these talks:
If I did not site some of these works here, or pulled quotes directly from them, forgive me.
This is an example of a negative leverage activity managers can engage in. This occurs when a supervisor uses with superior knowledge and experience (real or imagined) of a subordinate’s responsibilities to assume command of a situation rather than letting the subordinate work things through themself.
The negative leverage produced comes from the fact that after being exposed to many such instances, the subordinate will begin to take a much more restricted view of what is expected of them, showing less initiative to solve their own problems, referring their problems instead to their supervisor.
The output of this manager’s organization will consequently be reduced in the long run.
What can managers do to increase the output of their teams?
High managerial productivity depends largely on choosing to perform tasks to possess high leverage.
Training & mentoring your employees is a high-leverage task; it allows you to uplevel the skills of your team and builds in redundancy.
If an employee is immature in a task, then hands-on training is essential.
If the employee is more mature, then you can delegate.
Delegate, but remember; you are still responsible for the outcome of the task. Monitoring a task’s progress is not meddling. If you have multiple tasks you could delegate, choose the one you’re most familiar with. This might go against your emotional grain, but it’s easier to monitor a task you’re familiar with than one that you’re not.
Don’t define your role too narrowly. Effective managers are the glue in their team, filling any gaps. Sometimes that means doing things you don’t want to do, in order to set a good example.
Managing Up vs Down
Don’t build things your team wants to build but your company or your customers aren’t interested in.
Power comes from healthy teams. Some managers focus so much on following their management’s wishes that their team evaporates beneath them. However, if you never share your success with management, all of our excellent work will go unnoticed.