Passing on the Responsibility: It all Comes Down to Trust



All managers have been there at some point. You assign a task, provide all of the necessary tools to complete it, and walk away – only to go running moments later to yank back the reins of responsibility.

Why do we do this? I’ll admit that sometimes it needs to be done, but other times a project is so important or high profile that we just don’t feel comfortable handing it over to someone else. Either way, it all boils down to trust.

The first step is to trust your team. Hire capable and talented people, foster loyalty and reward hard work, and you will be able to trust them with anything. After all, they will want to succeed just as much as you. Trusting and empowering your team to take a project and run with it is the first step toward ending the micromanaging cycle.

If you’re stuck in the middle between “big bosses” and staff, you will also need trust in your higher ups. Allowing your team to come into its own is much more difficult when you fear for your job at every turn. My hope is that you work for someone who understands the difference between a mistake made by a loyal hard-working employee, and a gaffe from someone who doesn’t care at all. If you’re lucky enough to be part of a team like this, don’t forget to bring that same attitude to those who work for you.

And finally, you have to trust yourself. Can you handle the consequences if this project doesn’t go as planned? Did you make good hiring decisions? Did you carefully cultivate your team before raising the responsibility level? Did you provide everything they need to bring it to fruition? Yes? Then relax! You did a good job, now it’s time to let your staff do their thing. Give them a chance to stand on their own two feet and I’m sure you’ll be happy you did.