Don’t Micro Manage, Lead


Micro management is one of my pet hates. I don’t like to be micro managed, and I don’t like to micro manage.

Whenever I see a situation where someone is being micro managed, it’s usually because of the same reasons, a lack of clarity in what was needed, a lack of directions, lack of required resources, a lack of motivation, or lack of required skills in the person completing the task.

All of these reason for failure are due to the leader, we should have provided all of these things in the first place, or if the person doesn’t have the required skills, then we should have assigned the task to someone who had.

When we end up micro managing, it’s due to a failure on the part of the leadership, but we never see it that way, we see it as a failing in the person carrying out the task.

Our response is not to investigate whats missing and provide that, but to take close control and look to manage the task ourselves.

When we start to micro-manage we are looking to allocate blame?

How do you feel when you’re micro-managed?

Most people don’t like it; it’s hard to work with someone perpetually looking over your shoulder, constantly asking are we done yet. So why do it yourself?

I have had to do it myself, but it was never a pleasant experience, it usually leads to a lot of frustration, and it never enhances the reputation of anyone involved.

Not the one being micro-managed, and certainly not the leader; no one wants to work for a micro-manager.

If I find myself thinking about micro-managing someone, then I try to look and see what I have missed, what have I forgotten to provide, and then look to provide that.

People are much more successful when given the resources they need, and then are left to complete the task on their own.

That’s certainly how I prefer to work, so why wouldn’t I extend that courtesy to my staff.

As I said right at the start micro-management, is failure of leadership, not usually of the individual performing the task.

Focus on leading, then you won’t need to micro manage.

Gordon Tredgold

Leadership Principles