It is hard to dispute the fact that we all need a little direction, a little guidance at some point in our lives. This either due to a lack of experience with a situation, a lack of fundamental knowledge about the subject matter, or it could just be a lack of motivation to accomplish the task in question. But, when is there too much leadership, and not enough exploration and growth on the part of those who seem to need that direction?
Leadership is often not so much about ability, it is more about responsibility and being able to management the skills and the abilities of those who are a part of your team. It is about being the one who is will to take on the role of mediating out when someone might need direction, and when they may not. It is part of the job of the leader to know when put pressure on some people to perform in a certain direction, and when to just let them do their own thing.
People very rarely like, or appreciate being led around by the nose constantly, always being told what to do and how it is going to be done. This leadership style has its place at times and may be necessary when emergencies arise, and there is absolutely no margin for error. But when this form of management becomes the norm in an organization, or even at home, this can cause resentment, discord, and even worse; complacency. Too much of this kind of leadership may send the message that the team isn’t trusted to figure things out on their own.
Creativity flourishes when people are given the freedom to ‘play’ and approach problems and situations with their own style and abilities. Innovation relies on a leader given their team the problem at hand, giving the team the restrictions placed on the leader, and then letting the team figure out a way around those restrictions to the solution.
The creativity that your leadership establishes also need a level of restraint, as you don’t want the members of you team losing sight of the established vision (Goodman, 2013). However these constraints should be realistic and allow for freedom of movement, and they should be consistent with your style of leadership.
As a leader, one should consistently be analyzing the approach toward team members, and whether or not the team’s production correlates with your style of leadership. This analysis should tell you when you team is responding to your methods, and when there needs to be a change. Your people may not always tell you when you either need to lay off the breaks or when they need more direction, this is part of the responsibility of leadership, the ‘knowing’, not always the ‘doing’.
Goodman, N. (2013, August 13). Striking the Perfect Balance Between Creative Freedom and Realistic Limits. Retrieved November 20, 2014, from Entrepreneur: http://www.entrepreneur.com/article/227673