Mistakes and what is the role of a manager

To prevent them, duh!

Actually, not really…

What?!?!?

I wanted to write about making mistakes and why a team should celebrate them, but before I write it, I wanted to clarify something, I realized that a lot of people feel like their role is to prevent mistakes… Senior ICs and Managers feel like they are there to prevent mistakes – always as if that’s a part of the role…

Hmmm, What? then what should they do?

One of the most important (and most difficult) things to learn as a manager: Allow your team to make mistakes!

People learn by doing more than they learn by others telling them it won’t work, don’t get me wrong, It’s not easy and I myself struggle a lot to shut up sometimes…

Plus we need to know where it’s good to allow for mistakes and where it’s too dangerous and would demotivate the team or break the trust with stakeholders…

Basically, a role of a lead/senior is to make sure things were thought trough, that there are contingencies if something breaks and a plan behind what is done, the role of a Senior/Lead is the make sure critical mistakes won’t reach production, but if you are not allowing your team to try, you are breaking their ability to grow, to develop, you break their confidence and maybe, just maybe, you are making a mistake yourself, by not allowing for a solution you think is wrong.

Disclaimer, allowing others to make mistakes, might make you realize you were wrong and they were right…

Summary:

The role of Senior staff members is to make sure due diligence is done, to enable others to try stuff out and grow and to avoid CRITICAL problems from happening (by making sure there’s a way to roll-back or proving that the solution is wrong)…

Enabling your people to try somethings will enable them to grow, to learn, to be accountable…

Treat your team as adults, and you might realize that they actually are 😉

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