There’s nothing more demoralizing than working for someone who has not (and perhaps will not) ever done the work that they are asking you to do. This is especially bad in larger corporate structures, but happens in every size organization.
Leadership requires an incredible amount of empathy, the ability to understand what their staff and teams are dealing with day-in and day-out, and oftentimes the best way that a leader can empathize is by first knowing what their employees’ days actually look like!
Of course, at some point, depending on your role within the organization you may simply not have the real hands-on experience that you’re hiring for, such as hiring an accountant or financial controller or your first legal staffer (I have never held a full-time role in either of these areas) but I have had to deal with these things as I built-out and formed the organization in its infant stages.
But as time progresses, I’m just not going to have the empirical, first-hand details and experience. To solve this problem I’ve simply made sure that I spend time listening to my team and asking them thoroughly specific questions during my 1-on-1’s and more. The listening part is crucial though… as many people hear but they do not actually listen.
I’m working on that myself.