I think you may need to balance the asking and telling though. When I started my managerial post I took the ask don't tell approach and would most times be met with the blanks looks, refusal to answer... that type of nonsense. Needless to say when after the blank looks etc and I started telling them how I wanted certain things done it was a whole other can of worms.
Point 3 is soooo true! They never wait on you to play catch up when your personal life starts to spiral. I've found taking a day or two if things are really bad helps alot.
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