60 seconds leadership tip #2: Empower with accountability




Do you have a boss who micromanages? I’ve had a few in my career. And nothing has been as demotivating as being asked about the presentation when you’re just about to get started on it. Or tells you to ask Jack when you’ve just asked Jill. Or requests a report about a report….


Are you perhaps guilty of micromanaging your team? It might come as a surprise, but just as you do not like to be controlled on each and every step along the way – nor does your team! I can see your thoughts right now: “but they don’t have the skills to be left at their own devices”. Well, then help them develop these.


The easiest way to get them there is delegating accountability whilst offering your support along the way. For instance:

  1. Describe the task at hand and the objective, as well as the big picture

  2. Ask him or her about their thoughts on how to get the optimal result

  3. Ask whether he or she feels confident about achieving this with the given resources

  4. Let them decide, with your consultation, on the detailed objectives, how to get there, and the timeline

  5. Check regularly – simply by asking how the project is going, whether there are any unforeseen challenges, and whether they need any support. Do not manage every step of the way. A good tip for avoiding the perception of micromanagement is to have a fixed weekly meeting.


Today, we know that consultative leadership and requesting your team to accept accountability is what works. It is simply human nature. We are more motivated by destinations that we’ve been part in detailing and by setting goals that we’ve pronounced to someone we care about. We get to the destination faster when we travel along paths that we’re proud to have discovered ourselves whilst knowing we can always get support – just in case we get lost.

MetaMind Pte Ltd, c/o WorkCentral, 190 Clemenceau Ave, #06–08, Singapore 239924

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