In a project at McKinsey, I was loving it totally until I started hating it.

At that time, I had joined the Firm just a few months ago. And when the project started, there was so much to do that my manager gave everybody full autonomy. I did my own research and expert interviews, and answered the client’s question. Everybody was happy.

But after the first month, our work became less substantive. So now, my manager started interfering with the smallest of things. He wanted each page to look like and each headline to be worded the way he would have done it.

Now, instead of thinking about the right thing to do, I had to keep guessing what my manager wanted. It made me so unhappy that one day my manager noticed it and asked me, “What happened? Earlier you looked very happy but not anymore.”

I told him, “If I have to make the document the way you would do it, I can never do a really good job because you know what you want whereas I am only guessing it.”

That is why I hate micromanaging.

The only person living inside my head is me. Nobody else can do things exactly the way I want. A critical part of leadership is giving people your trust.

And when we don’t trust and respect people, or give them autonomy, they quit – they rarely quit just because of the workload.

To become a leader, we have to learn how to get out of others’ way – else, how will anyone ever grow?

– Rajan

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