In the deepest recesses of my soul I know I’m a micromanager. Or to be more precise, a perfectionist, workaholic, micromanager that is fortunate enough to make a self employed living so I can keep the obsessive tendencies tightly locked away when working with others but let them run free when I’m flying solo and things need to get done. But it’s these delightfully compulsive tendencies that let me love what I do.
Nonetheless, a micromanager’s love can quickly turn into another man’s chained-in-the-basement Misery-esque workplace hell and the moment you’re fortunate enough to rise out of the ranks of entry level purgatory and are made responsible for a colleague’s work, you take your first step out to the never-ending tightrope that is management.
With 20 years of consulting experience, I’ve worked with more managers than I can remember across a dozen countries and almost as many different cultures. But no matter how large differences seem, the one thing that remains constant is the tell-tale signs of unrestrained, self defeating micromanager behavior.
So the goal for today is for everyone out there in a supervisory position to take a long, honest look at whether or not you’re an unchecked micromanager and if so, what can you do to change in order to prevent hurting your organization (and face it, that’s what you’re likely doing if you can’t keep it in check).
In short, you can carry around your micromanager darkness, just keep it in check, give good people everything they need to do amazing things, and trust them to get it done.
Since humor helps in situations like this, stop by one of my favorite installments from The Oatmeal and ask yourself how much in common you have with the butt of this comic’s joke.