The Perils of Micromanagement

FEBRUARY 15, 2019

There is so much out there on micromanagement, you know it’s rampant. You know it’s causing loads of problems. You know good people are desperate to get out from under it. Go somewhere else where they don’t have to deal with it. Where they can perform their best and they look forward to coming to work.

Rather than reinventing the wheel, here’s one of the better posts I read on the topic: An Open Letter to Micromanagers by Scott Berkun.

Interestingly, he uses the word “manager” a lot. Not once does he use the word “leader”. That’s because micromanaging is not only bad management, it is the antithesis of leadership.

So if you recognize any of this in yourself, pause, give it some thought, and maybe ask a couple people who work with you for some honest feedback. And I mean allow for honesty. You’ll only come out ahead and better off in the end. You and everyone in your organization.

Meanwhile, here are a couple more pithy comments about the subject:

“It doesn’t make sense to hire smart people and tell them what to do. We hire smart people so they can tell us what to do.”

― Steve Jobs

“The “result” of micromanagement is perhaps tangible in the short run, but more often causes damage for the long term.”

― Pearl Zhu, Change Insight: Change as an Ongoing Capability to Fuel Digital Transformation

“Micromanagement is the destroyer of momentum.”

― Miles Anthony Smith, Why Leadership Sucks™, Volume 2

“A boss who micromanages is like a coach who wants to get in the game. Leaders guide and support and then sit back to cheer from the sidelines.”

— Simon Sinek

An open letter to micromanagers