Dear Aunty B,
I have always regarded myself as a great manager. However, while performance reviewing two of my staff I was told that I was micro-managing them.
One of the “accusers” is a slacker and hates me looking over her shoulder. But the other one is a great performer, self-motivated and gets good results, and I always thought we made a great team. How do I unpack an issue like this?
Devil’s in the detail
Here is a little test to do. Ten questions! Answer agree or disagree in your head. In less time than it takes to say I love you Aunty B, you will know if you are the micro-manager from hell or an attentive leader who drives performance.
Answer Agree or Disagree:
- I toss and turn at night worried about the business and feel resentful that my staff are probably sleeping between silk sheets, dreaming of their winter holiday.
- I am so busy with every minute of my day scheduled by my PA.
- Sometimes it is quicker and better if I just do it myself.
- My staff are really helpful and love pitching in to get me over the line.
- I have the answers to everything and encourage people to ask me questions rather than waste time finding solutions.
- I require my staff to stick closely to our plan as we don’t want to lose focus.
- I watch costs very closely and would never hire a great person if they became available if it meant killing my budget.
- I have learnt from experience that most people work best with close supervision.
- I could never make someone completely responsible for a large portion of my business in case it didn’t work out.
- I am ultimately responsible for everything.
Hmmm. You answered Agree part or all the way through. Didn’t you?
So your staff are right. You are a micro-manager. That’s not saying you are not a good manager who works well with some people. But you are not a leader and the best people with the most leadership potential will not work well with you at all.
Personally? You need to make a big shift in your thinking if you want to go the next step and move from being a manager to a leader.
It’s hard! Some of those answers are tied up with who you are and how you work. And I know you feel cross. So here is what you should do. Find a really smart leader and discuss these questions with them. Work through your own reasoning and be prepared to have it challenged.
Your Aunty B
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