How To Keep Leaders From Micro-Managing
Recently I wrote a post entitled 17 Lessons On Leading During Times Of Chaos. We live in chaotic times. This post gives us 17 lessons from some of today’s most successful leaders on how to effectively lead when situations are uncertain or change at a pace no one can keep up with.
One of the leaders profiled was Stanley McChrystal, a retired Four Star General of the U.S. Army. One of General McChrystal’s statements was “My command team and I guided our values, strategy, and priorities. The leaders lower in the organization made tactical and operational decisions in line with those principles.”
This comment really connected with one of this site’s regular readers. He sent me a couple emails that were so insightful that I wanted to pass them on to you:
The last McChrystal quote put into words what I have felt all along about organizational leadership. This helps leaders chart and stay the course (values, strategy and priorities) while others implement (tactics and operations). It will keep leaders from micro-managing and help them take corrective action when necessary. That will work in churches as well as any place I know.”
He then sent a 2nd email adding:
“Just a few more insights into McChrystal’s quote:
- Values - What we believe.
- Strategy - The plan to implement what we believe.
- Priorities - The order in which the plan needs to be done.
- Tactics - How to get the plan done.
- Operations - What is needed to get it done.
If positional leaders (those with titles) do not have nailed down what they believe about the organization, they are not qualified for the job.
If all positional leaders do is talk about what they believe, they will never see the organization’s values implemented, or someone else will step in and lead instead.
If they know what they believe and do some planning but fail to prioritize, they will be slaves to the urgent needs others bring to them.
If leaders get too far into tactics, they will micro-manage and fail to pay attention to the big picture.
It leaders get too deep into operations, they will be so internally focused that they may be efficient without being effective.”
Pastors and leaders, what do you think of the comments above? Have you been accused of micro-managing? Could they have been right? If so, what is one corrective action you can take TODAY to improve your leadership and your team’s performance?
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