Leaders are often an impatient crew. They want to get things done, and they want those things done quickly.
So it is tempting for leaders to go around those that directly report to them to get things done. It is a type of micromanagement.
And while, on occasion, it may necessary for this to happen, consistently going around those that directly report to you can erode their leadership.
You can damage your direct reports’ ability to lead their direct reports.
Which will end up hurting your leadership as well.
Here are four way going around your direct reports hurts their leadership:
- Their direct reports begin to see them as a middleman. Going around your direct reports makes them seem less like a leader and more like someone who just communicates your directives to them.
- Their team members begin to see you as their real direct report. They start to feel less accountable to your team member and more accountable to you. On occasion, they may actually disregard your team member’s directive because they think that you may want something different.
- They lose their credibility. Their ability to lead their own team starts to wane. Their words have less gravitas. This worsens when you tell them to do something contrary to what your team member has told them to do.
- They lose their confidence. Your direct reports know that you are going around them. And it is a discouragement to them. Their confidence deflates.
Consistently going around your direct reports hurts your direct reports leadership, and, ultimately, it hurts your leadership.
If you find yourself going around your team members on a regular basis, try to figure out why this has become your practice. More than likely, the reason is an opportunity for you to coach your team.
Multiply your leadership by coaching and working with your team, not going around them. Lead through them. Certainly, it is what they want.
And it should be what you want as well.