Cary Sylvester, Executive Director of Technology for Williams Reality International, hit a cord with me on a “Just for a Moment” podcast when she described a frequent leadership mistake: taking care of everyone’s problems (http://justforamomentpodcast.com/wordpress/archives/date/2011/04/04) .
When someone has come into your office with a problem, how many times have you said “I’ll take care of it.” Ok, I confess, I’ve done that! But how does this grow self-sufficiency and confidence in those you are supposed to be mentoring? And in the long run how much damage does it do in getting your work done?
Instead, Sylvester recommends:
1. Acknowledge the problem
2. Discuss the issues, and
3. Give ownership for solving the problem back to the employee.
Is downshifting caretaker instincts as easy as 1-2-3? What’s your experience?