Learning to not overprotect my leaders

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I pride myself on my commitment level and ability to maximize and develop leaders. In every management role I’ve ever held, I’ve played a large hand in ensuring the development of multiple future leaders. Additionally, I care deeply about each and every one of my employees and peers. A linkedin article that I read this morning brought to light a question I haven’t really focused on recently: How often should I share the stress and heavy burdens of the business with my employees?

As a person who has been in leadership for awhile, I have grown into a style where I like to take any stress and big opportunities from above me and translate them into results and specific tasks/objectives for my employees. I try not to pass along anything incredibly overwhelming, as I want to allow my employees to focus on a few things as much as they can and to not feel any aforementioned stress. I can remember working at a job where a superior told me point blank “you need to do this…or I won’t have a job come tomorrow.” I absolutely do not ever want to pass any stress or attitude like that to my team.

However, this linkedin article has got me questioning if I do that too much. Bernard Marr suggests three steps that strong employees can/should take when it comes to responding to big challenges being passed along (or “bad news” as he calls it):

1. They work on the way they personally react to bad news and make a conscious effort to react positively.

2. They create an environment where bad news is welcome. They often create an environment where the consequences for not telling bad news far outweigh the potential consequences of telling bad news.

3. They make sure to celebrate turnaround stories, where…the right actions were taken straight away to contain or eliminate the problem. Sharing these stories will help to create the right environment and will send out the signals that it is not only important to share bad news, but that the reactions and consequences are positive.

So I’m asking my fellow leaders out there: what do you do for your employees? Is it a good idea to pass along more of these “bad news” challenges to your staff and inherently demonstrate that trust and confidence in them? Or is it more beneficial to absorb a lot of that ourselves and keep our team “safe” from some of the huge things that can fall on our shoulders, especially when many of these employees may be looking for part time responsibilities in their part time jobs?

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Filed under change management, leadership

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