Acid Test #4: The Deep Digger Test
- Does he dig deep when a problem occurs and becomes part of the solution?
- Or is he content to just sit back and continue managing from the top and let others do the (hypothetical) digging?
I have seen managers who seem to be content to just manage everything from the top assuming that
- they need to delegate and therefore getting involved is seen as micro-management,
- they fear that the domain of knowledge is too much from them to master and learn, or
- they are just plain lazy and do not consider worthy to just dig into a troubled area
All of these are bad. 3) is of course grounds for dismissal. As of 1) getting involved is not micro management. A manager who gets time to understand the way some of his sub areas operate can quickly hold his ground when needing to defend his team practices against a 3rd party. He can provide valuable advice as a resource of the team when the reports are looking for solutions. He can help spot problems when they are small.
Someone with 2) is pretty much useless. A person who is afraid of the complexity of the area he is managing just goes through the motions and usually resorts to “by the book” management practices without any capacity for process optimization or innovation.