Great observation that workplaces with loose management styles can really stress out their employees. I’ve known (but never worked for) excellent managers who could both foster employee agency and ownership while also offering clear, precise, and regular feedback on employee performance. Those managers are usually demanding and also much loved by the teams they support.
So much about how workplaces try to do work is just…broken. Out of date management styles continue to foster a top-down method for setting goals and pushing assignments to lower-level implementers. I don’t know where the great Revolution in Work has gone (the one we were promised — telecommuting, co-working, freelancing you can live on, less than a 40 hour workweek) but it got derailed somewhere.
All of that contributes (for me) to second-guessing whether my skills are sufficient for the tasks I’m being given and the projects I’d really love to be working on….