Remember your first big win? If you’re like me, it was thrilling AND terrifying. Mistakes were made. If I had to do it over, I would probably do it very differently. Also, my manager at the time didn’t “seem” to help or hinder my efforts. I felt like win or lose it was on me. And yet, these wins had a disproportionately positive impact on my attitude and career trajectory.

Recently I’ve talked with leaders who find themselves delegating up: protecting their teams from “scope creep,” or stepping in to manage “complex political environments.” I was there too! And for good reasons: annualized performance management processes seem ill-aligned with pressures to be more agile; “more with less” initiatives have left leaders with fewer resources; and the cadence of measuring employee engagement and managing improvement plans has left leaders struggling to balance team engagement with performance.

These are exactly the times that we as leaders have to remember our past big wins and ask ourselves: “Are we robbing our team members of career altering opportunities?” Moreover, “Could a less hands-on management approach increase engagement, performance and innovation? WHAT DO YOU THINK?