#5 Why do I have to get involved in everything?

The complexity and pace of our working world continue. Engaging, motivating and coaching your team is incredibly important and will continue to be.  

Leaders often tell me they have to get involved in everything, and then secondly comes phrases such as performance and trust. Sometimes this is perfectionism, sometimes it’s skillset, lack of motivation of the team, or it could be that you have succumbed to helicopter leadership*.

Perfectionism is addictive. You only need to look at social media and how people make judgements and aspirations about lifestyles, careers, or sensationalism. Perfectionism often seeks to avoid failure and prevent a negative outcome. Others may see perfectionism as controlling and nit-picking. It’s important to recognise why you believe you need to get involved in everything.

Here are 7 tips to become less involved in your teams work:

  • Recognise when you need to be involved in everything and write it down. Once you’ve done this, categorise what the situations are. For example, it could be the team are new, they don’t know what next steps to take, or that they are worried about something.
  • Be curious and foster an environment of learning. Ask what you can do to help before jumping in to quickly to fix it.
  • Sit down with your team and decide what and whom you could delegate and empower.
  • Allow others to help before you.
  • Should you need to help, sit down with them and teach them, rather than doing it yourself.
  • If there genuine is an issue of quality, help your team understand the target and coach them to maintain it.
  • Develop your coaching skills.


*Helicopter leadership

This is when you are parachuting in to rescue your team – all the team. Signs include:

  • Your team isn’t failing – ever
  • You offer advice or step in with your feedback all the time
  • You are described as micromanaging or controlling
  • You enjoy the thrill of saving your team


Suggested reading:

7 behaviours holding back IT Leaders

7 leadership habits to make IT teams rock

Understanding yourself with help you lead with purpose

Do you have any tips to share? If so, I’d love to hear about them.

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