"Micromanagement is a surefire way not to have joy in your life. Micromanaging is like planting a little seed. You poke it in the ground, water it and cover it up. Then you go back a day later, pull the seed out and ask, “Are you growing yet? No? Hey, what’s going on? I thought you were going to grow.” Then you put it back in the ground, water it, come back the next day and pull it out again. After about ten days of this, the seed is dead." ~ Gary Douglas
Micromanagement tends to squelch originality and awareness. It teaches your staff to become risk averse. An overemphasis on standardization and micromanagement deters people from engendering out-of-scope opportunities and encourages them to hold back on the exploration for new strategic advantage.
You are micromanaging when you:
- See leadership as taking charge of your organization
- Believe you need to have all the answers
- Think it’s your job to tell others what to do
- Expect your staff to do what you want them to do when you want them to do it
- Look over everyone’s shoulders
- Tell people how to conduct themselves
When you micromanage, you are asking for problems. It is sheer absurdity for leaders to think they can competently micromanage their entire business themselves. If you find yourself (like many conventional business leaders) telling yourself, “I gotta take care of this issue, this problem, or this person. I gotta to do this and I gotta do that,” you are probably micromanaging your staff. This isn’t your job as a leader.
Your job is to hire the right people for the job and surround yourself with people who are competent and skillful—and then to allow them to do what they are good at without your interference. Individual contributions tend to be inhibited in organizations that have rigid policy, procedure, and micromanagement processes. If not curbed, the tendency to micromanage can metastasize into an unwholesome fondness for conformity, where novel ideas and new possibilities are seen as dangerous deviations from standard operating procedure.
This post is an excerpt from Leading from the edge of possibility, a book by Chutisa and Steven Bowman. You can order the book "Leading from the Edge of Possibility 2nd Edition" from Amazon