Most supervisors are promoted to the position because they are smart and can create and implement solutions and tend to rightly take pride in their problem solving talents.
As newbie supervisors they frequently encourage people to come to them with their problems and questions and feel a sense of satisfaction and accomplishment as they repeatedly “solve” the day in and day out problems offered up to them by their team.
BUT as they “solve” a bunch of small problems they have inadvertently created a MUCH BIGGER PROBLEM: a culture afflicted with “The Sleepy Brain Syndrome”.
Yep, a “Bring me your problems, I’ll solve them for you” boss discourages initiative and creativity, encouraging folks to turn their brains off, stop thinking, and just wait for directions.
If TRULY in need of advice, council or mentoring, Team Members should ALWAYS come bearing a menu of options complete with thoughtful analysis and a recommendation i.e. “completed staff work”. A good supervisor insists on nothing less and does a disservice to their followers if they accept less, undermining their personal and professional development.
Some supervisors think they are being “nice” by accepting less than others’ best, by “going easy” but the harsh reality is great harm is being done via the “subtle sabotage of low expectations.”
Refusing to “take the monkey back” may be a bit slower in the short run but much, much more effective in the long run as everyone grows and learns: The supervisor in how to train/lead at a higher more effective level and the Team Member in critical thinking skills, job satisfaction/engagement, and professional growth.
“Great presidents don’t do great things, they get multitudes of others to do great things.”
As always, I share what I most want/need to learn. – Nathan S. Collier