Micromanaging has a bad rap…


A great deal is written on why micromanaging is bad for organizations and teams. I do not disagree.

One thing that is important though, and this is often disregarded in environments where people complain about micromanaging: someone HAS to manage micro!

A different take on micromanaging…

Every team and endeavor that I have ever been involved with has required detailed execution to be successful. Someone on the team has to manage things at the detail level. Whether it is the point person on the project or a designee, it needs to be covered. The saying may go, “the devil is in the details”, but I would contend that excellence is in the details. Organizations that manage well to the detail level present as world-class. Who’s managing the details in your organization?

If you are a team member and responsible for the details, but feel your leader is micromanaging, you may want to look at your own execution. Are you getting things done and moving the ball forward on behalf of your team consistently? Here’s a link to some personal productivity tips that may help you build your capacity in this area.

For team leaders

If you are the team leader, and don’t see details being handled well, check your leadership. Have you delegated the detail role specifically? Is your team overburdened by the amount of details needing coverage? You may need to consider re-focusing your team on the big picture and help achieve a greater victory by tightening things up. Sometimes details get dropped because the team is going in too many directions and sometimes it’s simply a matter of individual team members not understanding their role or expectations. ┬áTraining and coaching your team on what you are looking for is a better way to build toward organizational success than letting the details slide and settling for less than excellence.

An illustration

If you pickup that your team may feel you are micromanaging, you may need to look at your strategy. My favorite metaphor for micromanagement is when my children are learning to tie their shoes. As they start to learn, the laces will invariably be weak. I have a choice. Do I bend down, tie them myself, and communicate to my child that they aren’t ready for this detail? Or do I bend down, encourage them, and help them understand how to tie them tighter? Depending on my choice, I may be stuck tying their shoes forever!

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