For the longest time, I suffered from an internal conflict between a strong desire to confirm that what I’d put into motion was being done correctly, and stepping away entirely once I pressed play. I was concerned that I was leaning towards micromanaging, yet at the same time, unnecessary and avoidable things went wrong that I could have helped prevent if I hadn’t been so hands-off.
It bothered me that my inability to walk away might indicate a subconscious lack of trust in my people. If I couldn’t be confident in my ability to extend trust, I couldn’t be confident that I’d receive it. The absence of trust is such a fundamental problem that it’s the first dysfunction in Patrick Lencioni’s The Five Dysfunctions of a Team:
Without trust, there are no meaningful relationships. Not personally, and certainly not in the workplace. Merriam-Webster defines trust as:
“Hope”, “rely on”, “expect”. Roll the die, fingers crossed. A position of trust is not a position of actionable power; there is no way to extend trust without the acceptance of risk and vulnerability. However, I couldn’t shake the nagging suspicion that I was washing my hands off of outcomes by not being involved, which irked me as I believe leadership and responsibility are inseparable. Round and round and round I went.