How frequently have we heard – or spoken – that expression? The workplace is filled with examples of employees set up to ‘hang’ by being given just enough ‘rope’.
But what if leaders re-wrote this expression… and in the process re-thought how to support employee (and organizational) success with the gift of the right kind of rope being offered for the right reason
Yes, give them enough rope and well designed systems that give them freedom, but also use rope to provide support. You can use rope to help people get themselves to new heights, not just to hang themselves. And you can use rope to give people freedom but also safety.
You want systems that let people take on challenges without too many restrictions but with enough support and training that you don't leave them hanging.
"to figure out how to handle ‘knotty’ problems and tie up loose ends."
Yes, and the ropes should suit their situation. A tightrope over a chasm is fine for a trained acrobat with a balancing pole. It is foolish for someone without the right training or tools. They would be better served with something else - a rope bridge with railings.
Photo by John Hunter on the Juniper Lake Trail in Mount Saint Helens National Park.
Related: Coaching: Don't be Too Timid - Manage Better by Managing Less - What is a Project Manager? - Building on Successful Improvement