You've heard the Chinese proverb, "Give a man a fish and he will eat for a day. Teach a man to fish and he will eat for a lifetime," right? Well, I find that it's one proverb I like to put into practice as much as possible.
For example, this week is the annual fundraising campaign for a large, national, non-profit organization. This non-profit is an organization we happen to partner with, and therefore we have several projects, speaking engagements, and tours going on throughout the week. It is my job to coordinate these events and make sure staff involved have all the details and resources necessary for success.
Now because I adhere to the above adage, I prefer to give as much information to my coworkers as I possibly can, and then let them worry about coordinating their department and staff as necessary. In this way I feel that I am setting them up for success, but allowing them to take part in the coordinating process (and by "take part," I mean, "take some responsibility).
However, as much as my plan makes sense to me, it sometimes falls by the wayside as I am called, time and again, to help my coworkers with their parts of the project. What I like to call, "spoon feeding," which I abhor. My workload piles up as I am unable to let things go unfinished, because I, ultimately, carry the responsibility for the success of my organization's part in the campaign
I now see just how easy it is to become a Micromanager.
What have I've learned from this experience is...
1. No matter how far in advance you prepare someone - they will lose the information.
2. No matter how much information you give them - it will never be enough
3. No matter how many contigency plans you make - the unknown will still happen
4. No matter how crazy it seems - you just have to grin and bear it
At the end of the day I'm pretty easygoing and able to handle the curveballs as they come (I just like to complain about it). I'm going to keep on fishing, and inviting my colleagues along, in the hopes that they one day make that big catch.