Why less attention is sometimes better than more

In the book “Good Boss, Bad Boss” by Robert Sutton there is a great quote from William Coyne, one of the leaders at 3M. He believes that:


“The best management is sometimes less management or no management at all. After you plant a seed, you don’t dig it up every week to see how it is doing.”


Makes sense when you think about it but how many managers have you encountered that just can’t leave people alone to get on with the job? They are always interrupting them to check on their progress. Sometimes it can be well meaning, say in the case of a manager checking on a new employee to see they are settling in, but if overdone it can lead to a die back in performance.


A good leader learns how to give the right amount of attention to people at the right time for them rather than fitting in with what suits the manager’s needs. Sometimes it’s definitely a case of less is more. So how could you benefit this week from paying less attention, by doing less managing, rather than more? 

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