A Common Leadership Mistake

A common challenge both for me as a leader and for many of the leaders I work with is finding the right level of involvement with the people we lead.

Some leaders err on the side of too much involvement––micromanagement––especially common when the work is in an area where we are an expert.

Others err on the side of “under-involvement” where team members are left to fend for themselves without enough guidance and help from their leaders.

What complicates matters is that different people require and prefer different levels of guidance and help. As with many other aspects of management, one size does not fit all.

In my book Rookie Mistakes, my friend Shawn Hunter shared a heartfelt and personal mistake, turned lesson with me. Shawn was overmanaging his people.  It took a while to see that overmanaging was not sustainable and not healthy for him, his team, or his business. When he realized this mistake, he pulled back, let go and let his team members do their work. Says Shawn:

“The need to be overly involved in every aspect of the organization disappeared. I felt relief at the reduced pressure from what I couldn’t and didn’t need to control, and the people in my organization felt more empowered, respected, and appreciated for their great contributions.”


  • Would your team members say you are overinvolved or under-involved in their work?
  • How can you begin to empower, respect and appreciate your team members more?


Have you taken the  Rookie Mistake Leadership Assessment? It’s a quick tool that helps you identify your leadership mistakes AND get feedback from your team.  You can find it under the Assessment Menu. 



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