10 Things Your Micro-Manager Won’t Tell You

There’s only one thing worse than a micro-manager: a micro-manager who doesn’t know he or she is a micro-manager.

By Jack W. Reidenbach

Micro-management is no laughing matter. It breeds management insecurity and emphasizes to employees a lack of trust in their work or belief in their judgment. It suppresses creativity and eliminates constructive criticism. There’s only one thing worse than a micro-manager: a micro-manager who doesn’t know he or she is a micro-manager. Here are 10 things your micro-manager won’t tell you:

  1. Frightening Leadership 101: I substitute my inability to understand how to accomplish the “bigger” picture by obsessing about the smallest of details, and intimidating and controlling the staff.
  2. The Blameless Ailment: The reason I ask you to sit in on interviews with me is not because I value your opinion and trust your judgment, but because I need someone to blame if we hire someone and it doesn’t work out.
  3. The Faultless Conspiracy: The reason I ask you to forward me all your detail information is because it gives me the opportunity to take credit for the positive results or shift the blame to you for the negative results.
  4. The Hallucination Condition: My friends and family think I’m a visionary, but in reality not only do I lack the true experience and creative capability necessary for this position, but I select ideas and performance standards not on the basis of their relevance to the corporation’s interest but rather on the basis of their significance to satisfy me.
  5. The Inspiration Disorder: Because of my desire to control and influence, I like to select and implement processes and procedures not for business reasons but rather to enable myself to feel useful and valuable.
  6. The Bottleneck Syndrome: I have no problem sharing responsibility with you, but whether they are daily or critical matters, I’ll make all the decisions.
  7. The Boaster Complex: I love to show off my corporate muscle, everywhere I can, whenever I can, just because I can. Although I can’t really manage myself, I take pleasure in controlling others with a hardnosed sense of selfishness.
  8. Your Time Is My Time: Although I don’t like my time schedule to be interrupted, I find my staff is not capable of evaluating their own workload, so I know they appreciate the fact that I dictate priorities and alter deadlines. Interrupting others, mismanaging meetings, and aggravating crises are my favorite past times.
  9. Let’s Do It My Way: My staff lacks the knowledge, experience, and good ideas for corporate growth, so it’s best when things are done my way. That’s why I’m the boss, right? But I do have to continually follow up to make sure they’re doing things the “right” way.
  10. The Packman Approach: I thrive on knowing all the details about what’s going on. Reports, reports, and more reports. Keep them coming.I’m really never sure how to determine the results, but I know they must be in these reports somewhere.

Ultimately, micro-management not only forces out skilled employees, but as a result of their potential conversations with others in their field, will hamper recruiting efforts, as well. Corporate direction will become a “focus of unknowns,” corporate growth will be severely slowed, and, in the end, corporate profits will be eaten away by ego.

Jack W. Reidenbach is a corporate consultant and organizational leader, with extensive operational experience within complex manufacturing organizations. His leadership articles can be found in theSGIA Journal, Training magazine, Service Management Magazine, and Supervision Magazine.Contact him at jwr407@bellsouth.net



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