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Four Questions For Your Direct Reports

As you grow as a leader you find yourself spending more time developing people and less time knee-deep in the weeds. Here are four questions to ask your direct reports on a regular basis. If you do so, they will evolve in their ability to deliver results and you will develop as a leader.

1. What things are you doing that require less of my time?

What are you getting from me that you don’t need? You are empowered. You do not need to bring every question to my attention nor every decision to me. Further, help me to micromanage less. Tell me to let go of the little things if you know you are fully capable of handling them.

2. What things are you doing that I should be more involved with?

What are you not getting from me that you need? Am I giving you enough attention on the right things? Are you waiting for a decision from me?

Assign tasks to me. I have responsibilities, visibility, and relationship at a level that you should leverage for the success of your projects. Can I help with insights or connections? Can I make an introduction? Is there something that I can escalate to move the needle faster?

3. What am I doing that I should do less of?

Beyond just micromanaging, from your vantage point, do you see me doing things that are not the best use of my time? What do I do that I could delegate to you or to someone else on our team?

4. What could I be doing more of?

What am I missing? Where do you and the team need me to spend more energy and more time?


Updated June 26, 2019. Originally published May 2, 2011.

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