I once worked for a boss who led through intimidation. Whenever there was an issue to resolve he would say “Send (name) an email about it and “CC” me”. Don’t you hate it when weak leaders want to be in everyone’s business?
He thought that, just because the boss got copied on the email, it would make the email recipient respond quicker and act on the request right away. But all it did was to tick-off the recipient who would always ask “Why did you copy the boss on that email?”
This is not leadership; it’s a lack of leadership – and micromanaging too. (read my post about micromanaging employees)
To make matters worse, the boss would later complain to many about how much time it took him to read/answer his emails. WHAT, are you kidding me? YOU’RE getting too many emails because YOU asked for them…
Another part of the email fiasco is when another employee would send you an email asking for something – that ALWAYS seemed to be an emergency (maybe an emergency for HIM but not for the email recipient). So, to get what he thought was a quicker response, he would “CC” the boss, and THIS time the “CC” was not requested by the boss.
Whenever I got one of these emails, I would call the sender (by the way, why don’t we use the telephone anymore while at work?) and ask him “What’s so important that you just had to “CC” the boss?”
Usually, the answer was something like…
“This was a really important problem that I needed to fix, and I knew YOU were the only one that would be able to fix it”.
Just as I thought, HIS problem became MY problem. Of course, I was able to fix the issue in no time, but later I put this guy on my “No Christmas Gift for You” list…
Then about a week later, I get another email from the boss asking if I took care of “Jack’s” problem. I told him yes, I did and then the boss asks me, “Why is he “CC’ing” me on this?” Ugh…I give up!
As Simon Sinek speaks about in this 1-minute video, leaders trust their employees to do their job as intended and don’t have to check in on them every chance they get…
…and they don’t request to be “CC’d” on every email.
They request the exact opposite; to be taken OFF most emails if possible.
I have always trusted my team to do the job as intended and to the best of their ability. I didn’t assume they would get it wrong or put undue pressure on them to get it right. I knew I had the right team and let them do their job.
Sure, I had to check in on them from time to time and maybe correct or refocus their efforts, but happy customers and high productivity usually is an adequate gauge on how well they are doing their job. There was no need for me to spy on them or for someone in another department to send off emails hoping for a better outcome from the team.
Weak leaders want to be in everyone’s business. I don’t need a “CC” and hope you don’t either!
Do you have weak leadership? Can you spot the telltale signs of a weak leader? Is your boss a “CC’er”? Tell me about it in the comments below, thanks.