At a meeting recently, my peers and I were discussion how we were going to deal with our new micro-managing VP. Details on how he micro-manages aren't important here and I'll save them for my bartender/after-work-therapist. ;-)
In this meeting, several of us were sharing our specific experiences so that we might learn a way to keep this guy happy and achieve the goals the IT Governance Committee set out for us on our projects. Business leaders are already beginning to notice detrimental effects of this guy's decisions on their projects and we are beginning to feel the heat. After giving specific details on behavior (I've gotten a couple of my peers to listen to Manager Tools and it shows), I was asked to summarize the situation. I offered 3 comments that while not addressing specific behavior did summarize general patterns of behavior I had observed. To wit:
1. He has openly said that he intends to "put his mark" on the 10 higest priority projects for the year. Clearly he is being honest about that and we need to understand that he intends to be percieved as the decision maker at all times.
2. This gentleman exhibits no understanding of the difference between providing vision and simply being the person talking.
3. This gentleman exhibits no understanding of the difference between leadership and simply telling people what to do.
This last two statement were challenged the two youngest folks in the group, one of whom is just out of his MBA program with less than 1 year of "real world" experience. He asked for clarity on the difference since he had often been taught that decisiveness was a key element of leadership, and this VP does not lack for decisiveness. The rest of us provided our definitions, but that got me thinking that I would love to hear how some people here (especially M & M) would define the differences I mentioned. I suspect many versions here will be more articulate than mine.
Fair is fair, so here is what I said. "If you tell someone what to do and how to do it, you are bossing them. If you tell them what to do and give them some general ideas about how to do it but leave they details to them, you are giving them direction. If you tell people what needs doing and provide an environment to help them do it, that is providing leadership. And if you help people understand what it is they collectively want to become, that is providing them vision."
So, what say you?