Let's talk about mentorship and leadership.
Leadership (or management, even, if you want to cast a wider net) is not always the innate skill you seem to hear anecdotally. It's learned, refined and requires a genuine interest in people first.
Leadership means empowering your people to be autonomous decision-makers; not scrutinising those decisions or creating constraints around how they're made.
In technology (my industry), leadership is a tricky thing. Most computer experts are very focussed on logical, rational, calculated tasks and outcomes. Inputs -> outputs. Predictable, expected results. If you demonstrate aptitude in these areas, you'll be trusted with bigger decisions and more responsibility. You'll be expected to handle more at once and balance conflicting demands.
Working with people is not logical, rational or calculated. Leading a team is messy, nebulous and uncertain. Letting your team grow, gel and work effectively with each other can often be paradoxical. In order to see them succeed, sometimes they have to fail first.
Nobody ever learned valuable lessons by being right all the time.
Creating an environment where your people can excel means removing road blocks and fostering cohesiveness / collaboration.
That means agreeing on some goals and perhaps defining certain parameters within which those goals should be achieved. Then leave them to it.
It DOESN'T mean telling people *how* to do things, or that you have to check their work.
"I want to be copied in on all communications with that client"
"Email the client and tell them you'll do it by tomorrow then change that method there and deploy it to this server"
"Did you check the config? Why not? This should be a basic task. I would expect anyone to complete this in half the time"
These sorts of messages resonate. And not in a good way.
All those messages do is reinforce that you don't trust your people to make the right decisions or to reach the right conclusions.
Send these signals often enough or over a long enough period and it won't matter how often you communicate praise, the recipient of any positive feedback will resent it because those results were yours; not theirs. Without autonomy and trust, your team's successes aren't truly owned by the team; they're owned by you.
It might be easy to blame the manager in situations like this, but often they're promoted on technical merit, given a formal leadership role and told "You'll do great! Go to it". No on-going mentoring; no follow-up support or oversight.
A technical person moving to a managerial role effectively becomes a junior manager; not an even-more-senior technologist. Treat them as such with support, encouragement, regular feedback and observations.
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