Everyone has had one at one point or another – the dreaded micromanager. It’s positively maddening to have someone’s breath on the back of your ear whispering all of your shortcomings.
A Great Manager
A great manager focuses on the team and not on themselves. They utilize their knowledge of their position, industry, company and the knowledge of each team member’s position to craft overall strategy to accomplish company objectives. This strategy should then be broken up and delegated to the team. Sounds glorious doesn’t it?
Sadly this is often not the case.
The micromanager doesn’t follow the best practices of the great manager. This manager lurks in the background, and often simply passes tasks down the ladder. There’s a difference between delegation and “passing the buck”. Delegation, to me, is more of a strategic task assignment. You take all the information you can, use it to make an informed decision, and then look to each of your team members to match tasks with their skills and abilities. The Micromanager takes into account none of this, opting instead for the armchair quarterbacking once the task is completed or not.
The Micromanager goes through the minute details that often have no real indication on the satisfactory completion of the project at hand. This manager has an amazing ability to look busy, to always be in the weeds, but never getting the high-priority, high-challenge tasks completed. They choose the path of least resistance, remaining in the shadows of the mundane.
Micromanagement is the smokescreen of a poor manager. Often, they are in over their head or perhaps just stuck in a rut. I’ve met some micromanagers who could be effective if they would “restart” their engines and refocus their abilities on the projects that need their unique skills and experience.
If you find yourself stuck in the rut of non-strategic micromanagement, take a step back, refresh yourself, and refocus. Your team needs you.