Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Leadership is built on TRUST...Micromanaging is a symptom of NON-TRUST

Richard Moreau, VP Emergency Preparedness

The right leadership climate has TRUST as its’ foundational element. Trust must be earned and it is based on the qualities of professional competence, personal example and integrity. Trust is not a static commodity and can be lost quickly when competence or integrity is called into question by an individual’s actions.

Trust is a two way street. It must be given and earned. The oft quoted General George Patton, said, “Never tell people how to do things. Tell them what to do and they will surprise you with their ingenuity.” Micromanaging is a significant reflection on the lack of trust between leaders and subordinates. Leaders who micromanage are disconnected in their level of trust in those they lead and those leaders severely hamper their ability to move people and projects forward.

This inability to function appropriately comes into focus during the management of a crisis. Individuals who are not comfortable assuming the roles and responsibilities associated with their current position will fall back to their comfort zone. That comfort zone is often manning a work station or a similar post in the center of the action. The presence of the leader at this point in the crisis undermines the ability of the appropriate subordinates to effectively do their jobs. Effective training can ameliorate the tendency to fall back into comfort zones and is an important preparatory step in the growth of effective leaders.

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