Effective leadership in organizations is often associated with action. The whole idea of not taking action is seen as negative, however, there are instances where action creates nothing but confusion and issues. Sometimes the best course of action is applying a wait and see approach. Savvy managers have to figure out when the best action is to let others resolve a problem or let an issue work itself out.
One of the ways this issue can be addressed is by asking a series of simple questions:
- what will happen if we do nothing?
- if we intervene to resolve the problem are we likely to add value?
- how will the various stakeholders be perceived due to that intervention?
It may be that senior leaders need to send a clear message when they initiate action that might be viewed as micro-management or as unnecessary interference. Sometimes it is necessary to let team members work out the problems on their own, much in the same way that kids in school need to resolve conflict.
Balancing between allowing team members to learn on their own and initiating action to reduce risk is a process that requires qualitative rather than quantitative decision making on behalf of the leader. Ultimately the leader has to make a call and live with the consequences. If the matter is not a life or death situation, giving the team some space could very well prove to be the best course of action