Fundraising Connection: 6 Nonprofit Leadership Learnings
3. The other side of micromanaging
Some of us are so afraid of being accused of micromanaging that we do more harm by not managing enough.
Empowering people beyond their ability can damage your organization—and damage the people.
I prefer the concept of "latitude within limits," in which leaders provide principles and boundaries so people learn and grow within a fixed and safe environment—without doing damage to our organizations or themselves. It's harder, because it requires real leadership, direction and coaching. But it works. And it's better for your team and your organization than allowing your staff to do something you know is wrong simply to avoid looking like a micromanager.
4. Ambiguity will always be interpreted negatively
That's what Tom DeLong of Harvard Business School teaches. Whether at work or at home, if you communicate unclearly or leave something open to interpretation, there's a strong likelihood that it will be interpreted in the worst possible way. The facts are friendly. Overcommunicate.
5. The whisper of the CEO
Rich Stearns, CEO of World Vision U.S., shared an important lesson he learned as he rose to the top of corporate America. He calls it "the whisper of the CEO."
Rich observed that the very things that help you to succeed on your way up the ladder—knowing the answer, passionately telling people what needed to be done, pounding the table—can backfire once you get to the top.
Many employees are so intimidated by senior management that if you even ask a question, it can send them scurrying away doing the wrong thing. Wrong because you might be wrong. Or wrong because they were too intimidated to hear you correctly. Or wrong because you really were just asking a question, not giving a directive.