A very senior client got feedback recently that he should be "more directive" with his people--in fact, to tell them what to do and how to do it more frequently. When contacted for clarification, that person was unavailable because they were too busy.
Of course they are.
Let's go with that notion. Why not be VERY directive? Because:
1. You will be too busy being the puppeteer (i.e., telling everyone what to do and how to do it) to do an effective job with vision, strategy, overall course correction, and good high-level problem solving for the whole organization. You will likely feel like you have a ton of bricks on your shoulders, and wonder why people don't pull their weight, or notice that you have to do everything.
2. You will likely demotivate / shut down your best people, as they need to come to you to check on the simplest things. Eventually, they will leave to go to an environment that values and supports effective, independent action and decision-making.
3. You diminish everyone's capacity to be at their best. Yours because you are too busy pulling the strings, and theirs, because they need to come to you for everything.
I advised my client that directive is definitely NOT the way of leadership. Certainly if a tree is about to hit you in the head, then I'm not serving you best by asking you what you think you ought to do about it. Indeed, I should yell, "Move, a tree is falling on you!" Short of that, delegating authority and responsibility is absolutely the way to go.