Empowerment – Are You a Micro Manager?


Leadership is about trust

The easiest way to suppress discretionary energy, the energy given willingly – no matter what it takes, is a style of micro management that scrutinizes every decision an employee makes. It can kill their spirit. If any of your employees even joke about you being a micro manager… Back off. Where there is smoke there is usually fire.

Micro Management is a Symptom

Micro management is often just a symptom of ineffective planning, too much compassion and the inability to judge performance and develop bench strength. Developing a strategic plan for your company is a very effective way to address any or all of these challenges. I often tell my clients that the most valuable part of a strategic plan is the development process itself. Running a company with a shoot from the hip mentality often encourages micro management and does not allow employees to develop their skills and maximize their potential. One of the many warning signs is a high turnover rate. The reason is simple; good employees just won’t tolerate micro management and they will leave to find employment that will challenge them and help them grow.

It’s About Leadership

Simply put, effective leaders don’t micro manage. In fact, they cringe at the thought of it. Why? Because they recognize that one of their primary responsibilities is the development of future leaders for the organization. You just can’t develop future leaders by micro managing.

Micro managing can be an indication of the following:

  • Lack of trust in your employees. This is not good because it often leads to a lack of trust in you as a leader
  • Fear of lost control. This is often demonstrated by a parochial attitude about turf or position in the organization. This may also indicate a lack of self confidence and low self esteem.
  • Panic response to emergency and crisis. The micro manager often feels alone on an island and when a crisis hits they may panic and respond reactively without much thought, planning or discussion.
  • Employee development, succession planning and bench strength are just three of the key principles for success. These become obvious once you start developing a strategic plan. Sales growth, profit growth, operational and service excellence are factors we all recognize easily because they can be easily measured. However, I submit to you that you can have the best sales plan, an excellent service and operational plan and if you ignore employee development through effective leadership your success will be limited. So, focus on the leadership skills of every manager in your company. Do an employee survey. Don’t be afraid of the word “micromanagement”. Discuss it with your managers, your employees and do an honest management self assessment. And…. if you don’t have a strategic plan, start right now. Call or e-mail me if you want help in putting your plan together. I can help make your strategic plan really work and the value you get from it will be easily recognized by bottom line growth.

    Copyright (c) 2008-2010 Rick Johnson

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