I was clearing up from a reported water rescue the other day (turned out to be a false call) and I was reviewing the thoughts that had run through my head on the way to the alarm. Unfortunately, the 18 years I spent as the special operations officer still causes me to immediately think "special ops" instead of reflexively thinking "incident commander", but I can (and have) consciously made that switch.
I was wondering to myself why that is. Is it ingrained in me? I'm sure that's part of it, but is it also an issue of trust?
For these officers that are now doing my old job, although we have trained them and evaluated them, and have vetted their abilities, it's still an issue of letting go. Just as a parent discovers their child is ready to go off on their own, it's always difficult to turn that nozzle over to the new guy and be the one standing behind them, guiding them in rather then doing it. They will make mistakes, no doubt about it, but your job is to be there to coach them and mentor them, not to do it for them.
I always was amazed at what a lousy supervisor Captain Kirk was (I'm sure that will set someone off). Why is it that HE always had to beam down to the planet to save the day? Didn't he have any confidence in his personnel? His job should have been to teach them, encourage them, and point them in the direction. Then it's a matter of a little shove out of the nest and they should be flying.
Don't make the mistake between being the "go-to" person and being a leader who won't let go of your charges. When they say "you can catch a fish and feed a man, but it's better to teach them to fish and they can do it forever", you can see what I mean. Do you think that it's a GOOD legacy to have your subordinates depend upon you forever?