In Praise of Micromanagers

Posted by jlubans on June 29, 2018

20180629-micromgr_cartoon.jpg

I mean they mean well, don’t they?
Like when a micromanager reviews all your work (decisions and correspondence) before you send it on, isn’t that Quality Control?
Or, when a micromanager reminds you of former mistakes, doesn’t that help?
Hardly, you say.
What about the long list of “What ifs” the micromanager made for your project. Wasn’t that helpful?
You say all those negatives diverted and stopped the project?
Few admit to being a micromanager. How often have you heard the refrain, “I'm not a micromanager...” all the while looking over your shoulder or creeping up on you to see what you are doing?
Surely, they must do some good?
Attention to detail. Yes, that is important. But, bogging down in the wrong details can make a mess of things.
Like the micromanager who waits at the door for the tardy.
Or when she monitors your personal use of phones and computers.
Hmm, this is not going well.
So, what do micromanagers want?
They want to be macromanagers. They want to let go.
They want an independent and innovative workforce.
They want you free to create, to explore other ways of working.
They want you to think for yourself and to behave in ways best for the organization.
But – and this is a big but - none of that can happen - they will tell you - until you (the worker being micromanaged) become responsible and show you can manage yourself.
Until then, the micromanager has no choice but to make decisions for you and to shepherd you through the workday.
You’re just not ready yet to be on your own.

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Like these ideas? Read more in Lubans’ book “Fables for Leaders” at Amazon.
Or, if you are an environmentalist, get your public library to buy a copy.
© Copyright John Lubans 2018

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