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Tuesday, August 11, 2009

"Helicopter Management"

It sounds similar to another term used in our society today, doesn't it? That phrase is "helicopter parenting" and it refers to parents who hover over their kids to protect them and to solve all their problems.

"Helicopter management" connotes the same type of hovering that some bosses do when they try so hard to help make their people happy and protect them, etc. Some equate it with "taking care of your people." I couldn't disagree more. To me, it's a lot more about trying to make to employees like you or maybe trying to do things yourself because you don't trust your team not to mess up and make you look bad.

"Taking care of your people" means other things to me. It means teaching them to be productive (time management and organization skills, for example), coaching them about how to solve their own problems, challenging them to use their brains (see the post, "Well, What do you think you should do?" for more info), and nudging them out of their comfort zones to try new things (like getting up in front of an audience to present a book review or article or idea).

"Helicopter management" is a form of micromanagement, isn't it?

Think about how you interact with your team and look hard at the idea of "helicopter management". Does that describe you?

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