Leadership Faux Pas #8 – Being a Micro-manager
One of the biggest challenges I hear employees struggle with on a regular basis is dealing with a leader who is a micro-manager.
One of my clients once shared that their manager would go back into her reports and change margins and layout styles … all the while justifying that the President wanted it this way. Another client shared how their leader would sit in her office and send emails to people 3 levels down asking specific questions about a project and skipping over the managers in-between on a regular basis!
Micro-managers are people who have an enormous need to control all aspects of a project, task, or team. Oh sure they can justify that things need to be done a certain way (their way), or that they need to make sure the projects get done on time, or that everyone doing their job the same way they would do it, or yadda, yadda, yadda, blah, blah, blah. I guess you can justify anything you want to regardless of the damage it does your people and your brand.
What most micro-managers will not admit is that at the core of their micromanaging issue is fear … their fear. Fear of being wrong, fear of losing, fear of losing control, fear of not being important, fear of looking bad, fear of being out-shined, fear of doing things differently, fear of change … shall I go on?
Most folks don’t change. Some folks will change once they see that the cost (pain) of continuing down the same path is greater than the perceived cost (pain) of changing. That said … below is a list of the costly mistakes that micro-managers can have on a company’s and it’s employees.
10 Costly Mistakes Micro-Managers Make:
- Micro-Managers silently send the message to their people that they are not valuable or capable of doing their jobs The impact on morale is staggering.
- Micro-managers limit the pace of productivity because nothing moves forward without their approval. They create bottlenecks.
- Micro-managers limit the growth of their people because they have no opportunity to branch out, develop, and try new things.
- Micro-managers wreak havoc on their teams because they project their inner fears onto others and then attempt to control all the pieces, parts, and people in an attempt to control those fears.
- Micro-managers limit their ability to move-up and lead more people because they don’t scale. Micro-managing 20 is easier than micromanaging 500!
- Micro-managers drive talent away from them. Sometimes it is away from their department … sometimes it is out’ve the company and possibly to the competition.
- Micro-Managers rob their folks of finding purpose and meaning at work because they are consistently being sent the message that they aren’t trusted to do their jobs.
- Some executive leaders allow micro-managers to continue because they fail to see the long term effects they have on morale & productivity. They believe the micro-manager get things done and the end justifies the means.
- Micro-managers create undue amounts of stress on themselves and others because they feel the need to control things they have no control over.
- Micro-managers make miserable leaders because they are more focused on themselves (their work, their way, their reputation, etc.) and less on growing and developing their people.
Sometimes it is difficult to see the hidden costs that certain leadership Faux Pas’ can have on a companies bottom line. Micro-managers are just one of the many hidden costs that negatively impact an organizations’ morale, productivity, and profit.
Fear is always associated with loss of some sort. Don’t let your fear impact those around you in a negative way. After all that was never your intention when you became a leader … was it?
If you are, believe you are, or have been told that you are a micro-manager more than once … maybe a great question to ask yourself could be: So what am I afraid of losing?
If you want to dig a little deeper click here and learn a little more about how you can overcome this fear and take a giant leap towards becoming the leader you know and want to be!