Don‰'t be a Helicopter Leader

Summer.The time of year when many children and teenagers head off to summer camp for a week of independence.Parents everywhere are wondering at that moment and throughout the week: "will my child lose all their things?"É"will my child make the right decisions?"


The campers come home, happy, healthy,  and unscathed.  They may have figured out that not bathing for 3 days wasnÕt the best idea, or that having to remember to put on sunscreen is important.

But they learned.Without the parent TELLING them.

So why is there still that bit of worry in the back of the mind that they need a parent there to make sure they make the right decisions?

As a leader or manager in an organization, letting go and allowing those that work with and for you to learn on their own can be a difficult task.

Amy Rees Anderson writes in a post titled, Good Employees Make Mistakes. Great Leaders Allow Them To.: "Making any mistake once was OK, so long as it was an honest mistake made while attempting to do what they felt was the right thing. Making any mistake once was OK, but repeating that same mistake a second time was NOT OK."

Think back to when you first joined your company, or entered the workforce.Think of a task or decision that you have had to make within the last month - how would you have made that decision or accomplished that task back when you first started?Certainly not the same as now, and that is because you LEARNED what worked and didnÕt work.

If we shelter employees from making hard decisions or doing delicate tasks, weÕre just creating a vicious cycle of constant sheltering.  If not that person, then it could be the next, or the next.

Just as children grow and mature when able to make their own decisions and learn from them - so too can the employees in your organization.

DonÕt be a Helicopter Leader - a system like Innovation Engineering can ensure proper learning is quick, safe, and documented.

There are two opportunities coming up that can help you learn more about a systemic approach to innovation:

June 22, 2016 - 4th Annual Innovation Engineering Conference being held online:


June 23 - 24, 2016 - Innovation Engineering Executive Experience being held at the Eureka! Ranch in Cincinnati, Ohio: