Let’s get this part out of the way early. If you’re a leader who micromanages your people then you’re a leader with very serious limitations. You’re also a leader who likely won’t think much of this post.
Leaders who insist on micro-managing, have a problem; they believe they must check on every detail and they are most likely an insecure leader. Their leadership is based on a lack of faith and trust in other people. It is repressive. It leads to little or no growth. It discourages the development of their people. It focuses on problems of detail, many of which are inconsequential, and it discourages teamwork. If they micro-manage often enough or long enough and they will kill their business.
They take positive attributes – an attention to detail and a hands-on attitude – to the extreme. Either because they are control-obsessed, or because they feel driven to push everyone around them to success, they risk disempowering their people. They ruin their confidence, hurt their performance, and frustrate them to the point where they may quit.
They limit each individual’s ability to develop and grow, and they also limit what their entire team can achieve, because everything has to go through them.
They don’t trust their employees or their judgment, and they are unwilling to allow them to assume any responsibility. They are cheating themselves of the ability they are paying for.
Micro-managing may work for a while but in time, it acts like an anchor on all progress. Innovation, new products, and new markets are discouraged as the talent to create and move forward has been banished by the micro-manager.
The inability of micro-managers to “let go” and let other people make some decisions and perhaps even risk failure, ensures that the growth of the organization and it’s people will be severely restricted.
People who are micro-managed stop being productive. Given even the most basic of assignments, they “learn” to wait for direction. If they are micro-managed long enough they completely disengage from the organization and simply “go through the motions” until they finally leave or are fired. When enough people disengage the business dies, slowly perhaps but it does eventually die.
Micro-managing is not about the weakness of the team, it’s about the weakness of the leader.
If you’re a leader that suffers this weakness then you must exercise your leadership skills through effective delegation. Delegation is the single greatest tool for building future leaders but it’s also a great tool to help micro-managers break free from the limitations that come from attempting to do it all themselves.
My next post will discuss a seven-step delegation process that virtually ensures an effective outcome. If you want to build your people you won’t want to miss it!