When you get used to being in charge, it also means you get used to people bringing you options to choose from. It means making decisions all day, every day, some of which are of vital importance, and some of which… aren’t.
Telling the difference between them isn’t always easy, but you can be pretty sure it’s a waste of your time to spend hours flicking between two slightly different shades of puce when there’s other work to be done.
Some bosses pride themselves on being gatekeepers, boldly declaring that nothing happens without their say-so. These are the people you do not want to sit next to at dinner parties, unless you’re recruiting for a Wednesday night soccer team and need a hard-nosed goalie who’ll put those smug jerks from Darebin in their place.
If you want to be in charge of an organisation that runs efficiently and agilely, and all those other buzzwords you’re hearing so much about, take a step back. Make the assumption that you’ve hired talented people with different perspectives, skills and experiences to you, and let them make some decisions. Even ones you disagree with.
Delegation shouldn’t be a mind-blowing idea in 2018, but you’d be surprised how many managerial types jealously hold on to their authority, seeing any challenge or different way of thinking as a mortal threat to their position and/or self-worth. It might feel amazing when employees have to tiptoe around your ego for fear of waking the dragon, but it’s not a good way to maintain innovation or a high-quality workforce.
(In fact, you shouldn’t be thinking of yourself as a dragon at all. Unless that’s your soccer team’s mascot or your surname is Draco. Or you’re in a Marc Hunter tribute band.)
Even worse is indulging the feeling of power that comes with demanding changes at the last minute. It’s especially irritating to everybody when it happens regularly, deadlines are common knowledge well in advance and your alterations are ones that could have been decided on before it added delays and stress to the process.
Sometimes it’s inevitable – afflatus strikes and you need a wholesale tear-down. But most of the time… either puce is fine. Sit down, and let someone else have a go.