Guidelines, Not Solutions

Many leaders, be it CTOs, VPs, or directors, are drowning in their day-to-day work. Often, one of the reasons is that they are busy constantly providing answers and decisions to their teams. It might feel appropriate, as you are a decision maker after all, right? Yet, you should not be trigger happy with that power.

I help clients create autonomous teams, and a big part of that is to make sure their dependency on the manager is decreased to include the required situations and little more. It might be easy for you to provide these answers whenever you can a question regarding technology choice, tech debt management, etc. After all, that might be what you know best.

The growth opportunity here for your organization, though, is to ensure that you teach your people how to make these decisions. Yes, you need to be a bit meta here. Whenever you get another question or decision, take a second and assess: Is this an instance of a generic situation, or is this a specific occurrence?

You will quickly realize that the preponderance of questions you receive is the former. Slowly but surely, start laying out your principles and guidelines. These should be able to address future similar situations, instead of the issue escalating back to you.

Make sure your team (and new hires) are aware of this, and stop being a bottleneck. I find this gives your team more satisfaction, as well as yourself (for you finally think in bigger terms).