Why do leaders spend so much time micromanaging? I’m certainly not immune to heavy supervision. For example, I’ve been working with a number of startups lately. A common issue I’ve seen rests upon providing people the necessary space to work. I don’t mean the physical space like an office, but space to breathe.
If you hire someone to perform a certain task, you either didn’t have the time or expertise to execute on that problem or project. Often, leaders spend so much time and energy finding the right hire or contracting the best vendor. Ensuring you choose the best talent is necessary but the effort and opportunity are lost if we micromanage once the engagement begins.
Why do we do this? Often ego is to blame. It gets in the way because entrepreneurs and those in management are “successful” and are supposed to have answers. Asking for help is viewed as a sign of weakness. We don’t want to admit to others that we didn’t know how to do something or don’t want the world to know that someone else can execute on a project or task better.
By managing like a tyrant, you are enforcing an obedience that instills fear. When someone is operating under some level of fear without enough space, they cannot create and perform at the level of which they are capable. You become the obstacle to your own success. If you constantly feel the need to monitor the unimportant and expect regular reports on miscellany, you are mismanaging.
Leave your ego at home. If you are going to spend the time and money investing in a new hire, be mindful that your choice was wise and that person will deliver. In the end, it doesn’t matter how the work was completed and who performed, the result will move your organization forward. Progress is what matters.