I have been a manager for two years now. During the first year, I performed really well and was held in high regard by both my superiors and my reports.
During the second year, I spent a lot of time reading about management and how to grow further on this career track. One of the things I did was give my reports more freedom, develop them and share more authority with the hope that doing so would propel me higher. Instead, it started backfiring as reports started taking things entirely into their own hands, knowing more than me both technically and process-wise, and often arguing with me. When my superiors ask me something I always need to bring the relevant reports with me as they are now more knowledgeable and technically savvy at work, whereas I do coordination.
When they argue, they are often right. And I feel like it's not even worth arguing because they know better anyway. In a way, I fear this is making me appear in a bad light, both among my reports and among my superiors. I appear like a moderator who has done his job and my reports are the doing the actual work.
I am not entirely sure where this is going, but I certainly feel uncomfortable about my leadership and career development at this point.
What can I do to repair my leadership and growth in the hierarchies?