Holding Onto the Seat
Do you remember learning to ride a bike? Your mom or dad probably held onto the back of the seat and ran alongside you a few times. Then they encouraged you to try it on your own. You wobbled a little before falling and skinning your knee. Depending on their approach, you either kept trying or you gave up until someone pushed you back outside and made you do it again.
But Not Too Long
In my coaching practice, I see a lot of leaders who are discouraging their teams by holding onto the bicycle seat too long and micromanaging. Understandably, they don’t want anyone to fail but they don’t realize the importance of encouraging people to learn from falling down. In these situations, I work with my clients to become effective leaders who equip people with the tools and support they need and then let them do their jobs.
Micromanagement or Motivation?
In the book What Leaders Really Do, John Kotter points out that, “Motivation and inspiration energize people, not by pushing them in the right direction as control mechanisms do but by satisfying basic human needs for achievement, a sense of belonging, recognition, self-esteem, a feeling of control over one’s life, and the ability to live up to one’s ideals.”
I invite you to envision what you and your team could achieve if you trade micromanagement for motivation.