When Autonomy Overwhelms

“You can be whatever you want to be,”
We told our children.


If I can be whatever I want,
I may feel like being something mundane isn’t good enough.

If I have infinite options,
I may feel overwhelmed by the complexity of decision making.

If I’m even uncertain as to what I want to be,
I may doubt whether I can amount to anything at all.

The same happens in our workplace.

When we, as leaders, give autonomy to our people.
Unless they can tame
The ambiguity,
and Complexity they perceive,
They can get stuck in shame, overwhelm, and doubt.

Join our next workshop.
Let us learn
To help our team get unstuck.

May we let autonomy be a gift,
Not a burden.

Growth on our own terms

We appreciate growth
when we grow on our timeline
in the direction we want to grow.

If we force others’ growth
to satisfy our own need for contribution,
no matter how good our intentions,
it’ll likely be unappreciated.

In fact,
others may even rebel
and do exactly the opposite of what we wish.

What a waste of time and effort, no?

A Matter of When Not Whether

We often think micro-management entails meddling with every little detail from the moment we delegate work to another person.

Actually, there is another form of micro-management.

This is where we give someone the autonomy to do whatever they want, only to meddle with every little detail once they bring back the fruit of their autonomous labor.

The only difference here is when we micro-manage, not whether we micro-manage.