The answer to excessive micromanaging, we’re often told, is to learn to trust our reports, empowering them to make decisions for themselves. Yet that sounds far easier than it actually is. In practice, many bosses fail to delegate because they haven’t cultivated a set of underlying mindsets and practices. Analyzing these leaders’ careers and business practices, I found that superbosses were expert delegators, ceding degrees of authority and control that would send chills down the spines of ordinary bosses. Would you hand a twenty-something $25 million in seed capital and tell him to go off on his own to manage it? Julian Robertson did. Would you task a young protégé with generating the main strategy for a new real estate development — only two days before a big presentation with investors? If you’re real estate legend Bill Sanders, the answer is yes.
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