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Thoughts on Micromanagement

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in Remarkable Leadership with Kevin Eikenberry

micromanagerHave you ever experienced a micromanager, a control freak, a meddler or a person who can’t let go?

The behavior gets labeled in different ways, but it is really all about the same.

How do you like working for or with people like that?

If you are like every other person I have talked to about this subject, you don’t. When I ask people to list the qualities of great leaders, micromanager never makes the list. But if I ask people to list mistakes leaders make, micromanagement is always on the list.

Are you a micromanager?

Don’t be so quick to answer because very few people who micromanage, think they are doing it.

While I don’t know if you suffer from this affliction or habit, I’m going to go on the assumption that you might at least lean that way on occasion. Even if you think that isn’t you, read on.

Micromanagement is a major sap of energy and engagement. It keeps people from learning and it is a barrier to accountability. It is a pariah and certainly not a leadership behavior to aspire to.

How do we get rid of it?

Start by getting over yourself. If you are micromanaging, in large part it is about you and your ego.

You think you are the only one who can do it right. You think you can’t trust others. You think that you are indispensable.

Get. Over. Yourself.

If you truly don’t feel anyone is ready to take the task, don’t delegate it. If you don’t feel you can trust anyone with it, don’t delegate it. Because if you can’t let it go, you will likely micromanage, and therefore spend as much time (mental and actual) as you would have if you did it yourself, and contribute to the disengagement of others at the same time.

If you are going to delegate it, get over yourself and let it go.

And … you want the task done effectively, right?

So give people clear expectations. Give them boundaries to help guide them. Offer your assistance and support — then let them do it.

No one yearns for a micromanager as a boss, so make it your goal to not be one.

Change your perspective, change your habits, get over yourself, and let it go.

Don’t just nod your head intellectually agreeing with me; take action. Even if you don’t think you micromanage, take these steps anyway — because you will be more productive, more supportive and more effective as a leader when you do.

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{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Tribhuwan Negi November 18, 2013 at 1:45 pm

I have compiled my thoughts extensively on micromanagement in the following article: Stop Micromanagement Epidemic – Lessons for Micromanagers


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