Businessman looking at camera through a magnifying glass

We all want to do our jobs. And we want to do it right. But what happens when our leaders or managers are micromanagers? Those people that focus on the minutia, those people that don’t create the vision, and worst of all, those people who don’t trust us.

This isn’t a blog for “us,” this is a blog for “them.” Our leaders that need to do their jobs, so that we can do ours.

Micromanagement at its worse stifles ideas and creativity. It fosters a league of staff that doesn’t know where to go or much less what do to. And those staff members, the ones you hired and trusted to do a job, are the same ones that will just walk out the door. There’s no need for this type of stewardship at a time and a financially driven world where competition is so aggressive that it literally sinks ships.

The playbook doesn’t come out of narrow thinking. Vince Lombardi said it best.

“Some of us will do our jobs well and some of us will not. But we will be judged by only one thing—the result.”

So for all of those micromanagers out there, it’s time to realize that you can’t change behavior, you can only shape it, but it starts with you. You need to manage yourself, not others. You need to manage the process, not the people.

And with that, successful managers don’t focus on the little things, rather, they focus on what they want to accomplish and what they want to achieve. And as their employees, we want a direction. I’m not saying that we want to approach work in a robotic way, but we have the need to be led. We want to be led.

So good leaders, not micromanagers, do this:

  1. They wholeheartedly believe that they can trust their people and are willing to hand over a portion of the business with confidence.
  2. They surrender power and authority to others.
  3. They recognize the inspiration and genius in their staff.
  4. They inspire others to want to do something, to hold their staff accountable, and to believe in their ability to succeed.
  5. They look at the bigger picture, rather than correcting or criticizing the details.
  6. They involve people in the decision making process.
  7. They encourage participation and initiative.
  8. And finally, they empower individuals to do well by giving them the opportunities to succeed.

So, here’s a question for our leaders out there—do you have the drive and willingness to step back and let your valued people run the business?

Micromanagement doesn’t solve problems. If anything it hinders progress. Howard Schultz, Chairman and CEO of Starbucks, is known for his entrepreneurship and stewardship of a very successful brand. He said something that’s very poignant for leaders, who aspire to create the vision and then trust their people to execute it.

“Don’t do things the way they’ve always been done. Don’t try to fit the system. If you do what’s expected from you, you’ll accomplish more than others expect.”