Friday, May 28, 2010

Leadership lesson: Let go to succeed

I’m curious: If I held an informal survey, how many managers would describe themselves as “micro-managers?” How many of your employees would describe you as a micro-manager? If you are a micro-manager, is that a bad thing?

You might look at micro-managing as an annoyance or a personality trait. But you may not realize just how much harm it causes. I believe micro-managing damages your business in a few ways:

Personal productivity drain. They waste so much time monitoring their employees, giving advice, and hosting meetings, they don’t have time to accomplish much of anything themselves. This increases their stress level, leading to a degraded work environment.

Employee productivity drain. Their employees can’t work very efficiently while always being monitored and attending meetings with their manager. This frustrates employees, resulting in a high turnover rate.

Hinders free thought. If a manager is always looking over shoulders and giving suggestions, orders, or opinions, their employees will gradually stop thinking for themselves. They will start running even the smallest decisions by their manager, creating more wasted time.

If you want to read more about this topic, here’s a nice article on with some great advice. While it’s aimed at IT managers, I believe the advice is relevant for managers of all types.

As always, if you have any tips or advice, I’d love to hear it in the comments.


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