Micromanagement. Taste the word for a second. It's a word loaded with negative associations and bad experiences. Being called a 'micromanager' is rarely meant as a compliment, but still: It happens! The project might be important for a customer, or you just have a strong feeling about how to do it. I'm not here to judge you: I'm merely trying to present a solution. To do so, you need to answer a few (semi-unpleasant) questions about yourself:
Are you one to
- ask to be CC'd on emails
- know both what and how something should be done
- feel like a control freak from time to time
- second-guess the work of others
- feel like you could improve on the work of others
- feel like people avoid working with you for unknown reasons
- Overly focus on details that are not important
There are dozens, if not hundreds, of other questions to put here, but if you feel like these questions are describing you, you just might be a micromanager. As long as you know it yourself, it is easy enough to work around; you just need to know the pros and cons.
Even though it stresses you out to obtain the level of control you feel is needed, it also gives you the exact product that you want. This is a good thing, as long as you know what you want and why. Especially if there are a lot of unskilled workers, high turnover in the organisation or extremely demanding customers expecting the same product time and time again.
There are a lot of positive attributes reflected in the fact that you are a micromanager: you're most likely thorough, have a clear vision and can be dedicated to both the task at hand and the business as a whole! To ensure the perfect results you are used to delivering you need total control, and you probably have the best of intentions. But the end does not always justify the means, and on the way to producing your perfect output, you might come in the way of enthusiasm and productivity for the rest of your team - which brings us to the cons.
Micromanagement can be the death of creativity and happy employees. It is that simple. It shows a lack of trust in their abilities and judgement. When employees experience over-scrutinisation and feel over-managed, they will become frustrated and might lose their motivation over time.
They start depending on your for every single task, without the willingness to perform by themselves - why waste time when they'll have to redo it after you've looked at it? You'll end up with a tremendous workload, and start resenting your employees - whom, to you, seem like they are unable to perform even the easiest of tasks. It is a vicious circle, and no one gains from it!
Our solution to this
As Theodore Roosevelt put it; “The best executive is one who has sense enough to pick good men to do what he wants to be done, and self-restraint enough to keep from meddling with them while they do it.” You need to give your people room to get it right - why would you otherwise have them?
Good systems allow you to supervise without the feeling of supervision and collaborate effortlessly and seamlessly. It allows you to see the progress of the project and all the excellent work the rest of the team does throughout the planning process, which in turn, gives you confidence in their work. There is no simple solution to this - it is a question about culture and willingness to change to solve it.
Matteo is one of the founders of Crescat and has experience with producing concerts and conferences before Crescat. If you want to know more about him, look here.