“Hands-Off Management isn’t as advantageous as it may sound. I’ve experienced the hands-off style of certain managers who thought they were doing me a favor by giving me lots of elbow room. Great, but with that leeway came a corresponding lack of direction. When a major decision had to be made, they went into stealth mode…only to come out of it when I made a “bad” decision. Laizzez faire might be good for market economics, but sucks when it comes to management.
If Hands-Off Management is bad, Hands-In Management is a couple of steps closer to workplace hell. Popularly thought of as micromanagement, it resides at the other end of the spectrum. The hands-in style erodes trust and kills creativity. It gets particularly rotten when you make a decision only to have a hands-in manager (or Board Member) come along and reverse the decision.
Hands-On Management lives in the middle of these two styles. A hands-on manager knows when to be involved in decisions and the work of their staff and when to give them space. It takes confidence in yourself and faith in your people. But then, it’s kind of hard to be a leader without these two things. From an employee perspective (or at least from one who wants to free to learn, be creative, and mess up on occasions), we want managers and Boards who consistently apply this style.”