If the project does fail, be sure to praise the subordinate for minimizing any consequences. A good manager needs to have a mature attitude
towards failure. Also hold a post-mortem to find out what went wrong, what went right and how there can be improvement. Do this for successes as well, don’t just accept them as signs of genius; they might have been lucky outcomes despite several missteps.
This habit of reflection is one of the best things to teach future managers. Wouldn’t you have liked your father to take this attitude and teach this? Or perhaps you are one of the lucky few whose parents did behave like this?
One can say that a reasoned approach to the Parent-Ego state is likely to have much better and more controllable results than a more negative and controlling attitude. By loosing the reins you encourage personal growth and rapid learning as well as responsible action. And this applies to your children as well as your subordinates.
Parents / Managers who do this don’t always succeed in everything, but they certainly tend to catch failures very quickly, and the sooner a failure is picked up and action is taken, the cheaper it is likely to be.
There are also some encouraging successes, where you can genuinely claim to have played a part, not just steal the glory from a subordinate. In fact, it is better to stress the role your subordinate played, and give credit where it is due. This fosters respect and good relationships, which will ultimately lead to further rewards, even if only of a personal nature, such as being able to point to a young star and say, “I saw his potential and encouraged him.”
You might even end up as somebody’s most unforgettable character! But remember that many highly successful people have said that their subordinates were more competent in many areas than they. However, they shine at getting the best out of people.
(continued from part II)