There are two views to be taken to answer the question; your team is better with or without you. It all depends on what is most important to you as a manager. Let’s analyze both sides.
Is your team better with you or without you?
The Better With You Manager
They want leaders to know how vital their contribution is to the team. They work long hours and usually control their employees at the micro-level. They may also have a heavy-handed management style in which no decision can be made without their input or approval.
A survey conducted by Trinity Solutions and published in author Harry Chambers’ book, My Way or the Highway, found that 79% of those surveyed had experienced micromanaging. About 69% said they consider changing jobs due to micromanagement, and another 36% have changed jobs. Seventy-one percent said micromanaged disrupted their job performance, while 85 percent said their morale was adversely affected. (Above, from the PA Times of March 31, 2015).
Better with you (BWY), managers love to be the leader and lead their troops in their daily duties. Senior management loves them and sees their active involvement every day. This manager is good, excellent, and the bosses wonder what they would ever do without him.
But what happens if this manager reports sick or goes on vacation? Who is leading the troops? Who is there to show them? Who is there to approve the day to day decisions that need to be made? This is the problem with this style.
Do You Trust Your Team?
The “BWY” manager has developed a system that revolves around him and his daily activities. When he’s there, it works. But in his absence, his team is not used to working autonomously or under the temporary supervision of a junior or lateral manager from another department (provided that they came to assist in the absence of the manager).
Tasks are delayed, standards and procedures are not followed, and employees argue with each other. “Let’s do it this way,” one says, but then he gets shot by another who thinks he has a better way. Before long, chaos breaks out, and little is done – at least little good is being done. Internal friction is dissipating, and once friendly teammates now see each other as self-centered and rude.
When the director of BWY returns, he said things had gone badly in his absence. His team was not performing as before, and productivity was suffering. Worse yet, clients have noticed the disruption of service, and now his management and leadership style is being questioned.
How did it all fall apart so quickly? To answer it, let’s see the best without your manager.
The Better Without You Manager
The “Better Without You” (BWOY) manager is strange. She is also good at her job, but her downfall is being disorganized and poor communication. Talk about chaos. It’s a daily event with his team. Let me repeat that – the director of BWOY creates confusion. Her team is well-trained and experienced, but you would never know that by watching his team at work.
The BWOY manager decides to change the procedure or set unrealistic tasks without preparing his team in advance. Most employees are acceptable if they know what is expected of them and are given the tools to do their jobs. But that doesn’t happen with the BWOY manager. Example:
The big boss has requested a new completion date for an upcoming project, a date without flexibility. The BWOY manager sat on the information for weeks because she is too busy “putting out fires” quickly from previously completed activities. Now her team has only a few days left to complete this significant project, most of which will need to be done during the typical workday in addition to everyday work pressure.
This creates unnecessary stress and confusion for his team, and the resentment begins quickly. As it turns out, her two supervisors have already discussed how and when this project should start and are eagerly awaiting its completion. Whenever they have introduced it to the head of BWOY, it is put off until later. Projects stop or are attempted without clear guidelines and require revisions later.
So what’s the answer? If both management styles show errors, what is the solution? Well, it is a combination of the two.