In the news last week were Robert Gates, Leon Panetta, and other former members of the Obama cabinet decrying the micromanagement that has characterized the administration’s style. A micromanagement style is a clear sign that a manager hasn’t matured and is not able to operate at a higher level because their own management development has been truncated to a point that it is damaging to the organization. With a micromanager, direct reports become risk-averse and tentative in both their decision-making and in actions. People don’t feel valued and they recognize that their own development has stopped. It is a key reason why high potential subordinates will leave.
So while a micromanaging style may be important to getting a business off the ground, as the business grows the micromanaging style gets in the way of growing the business and the talent needed for growth.
Earlier, I wrote that the first step a micromanager must take is to realize that a change is necessary and to develop the resolve to make a change. That change is not easy and it won’t happen overnight, but it can be successful over several months particularly with good coaching.
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