Managers, especially senior managers, want people to be “invested” and “motivated” to do a great job. Often, the only measure they have for that is to see people work overtime. Why? Because that’s what senior managers do to show that they are invested or motivated. They work overtime. This is not smart, or often, needed. But they do it anyway. And, then they apply the same criteria of what they think investment or motivation is to technical people. Ouch.
Management work is different from technical work. The same rules do not apply.
And, people are people, so some of the same rules apply. If you tell people the results you want, and ask them to solve the problem with you, you are much more likely to get the results you want. Much more likely.
This myth is closely related to, but not precisely the same as I Can Measure the Work by the Time People Spend at Work.
Remember, people work for many reasons. Once you have taken money off the table by paying people a fair wage, people work for autonomy, mastery, and purpose. You do have to pay people enough to take money off the table. Not everyone does.
Do you have a favorite management myth you would like me to address? Let me know.