I have said this for years – one mark of a healthy organization is that no one is backed up from above.
A friend is hiring for a mid-level position. He told me that one of the competencies the candidate must have would be the ability to back up one of his/her direct reports. No. You need to know enough to supervise someone, not enough to back them up.
Think about it – how does backing up from above facilitate succession planning?
How does backing up from above help motivated underlings see that there is a future for them with your organization?
How does backing up from above impact priorities and choices that supervisors, managers and executives have to make about their own time?
There are people in your organization who want to become more. The cost of training them to back up their supervisor will pay off big time; and it makes more sense than having managers perform tasks beneath their pay grade.
Back to the principle – one mark of a healthy organization is that no one is backed up from above. How do you score?