Im a 27-year-old senior partner and hi-po in my firm. I was recently asked to lead an important project for our firm. The partner who asked me to lead it said, I trust you completely. Yet, now hes asking to check in every couple of weeks, and wants to be ccd on every email I send about the project. I admit, Im feeling a little micro-managed! I cant tell if he really wants me to lead it, or if he wants to do it himself. By the way, the partner is 63.
What do you suggest?
Mike-romanaged in Melbourne, Australia
This isnt a generational issue, as you probably know. Its a work style and communication issue. You cant change your partners behavior, but you can change your own.
You have three options:
(1) You can accept your partners behavior and give him everything he wants, e.g. the e-mails, the additional check in meetings, etc.
(2) You can ask him for clarification and/or to change his behavior. For example you might say, I know you could do this project yourself, but you asked me to lead it. I feel that Im getting mixed messages. You said that you trust me, but youve asked to be ccd on every email and want to have additional meetings with me to talk about the project. If you really DO want me to lead this project, I need a longer leash and more authority. So lets agree now about how often well check in, and how much leeway Ill have to run this project the way I want to run it.
(3) You can walk away.
If you really want to be a future leader of your firm, I suggest Option 2. It will be a good experience for you AND your partner.
Good luck. Let me know how it goes.