Micromanagers: The Anti-Leaders in Your Organization

26 Jun
The Micromanager: a humorous video on how a boss can literally strangle his employees with his micromanaging.

The Micromanager: a humorous video on how a boss can literally strangle his employees with his micromanaging.

(The video above by Picnicface is a humorous take on how a boss can literally strangle an employee with his micromanaging tendencies.)

Let’s face it: Almost all of us have had to work with a micromanaging boss at one time or another in our careers. (If you haven’t, it’s either your diploma’s still brand new or you’re one extremely lucky person.) Usually working with one involves a lot of reports of what you’ve been doing, what you’re currently doing, and what you plan to do. They’re big fans of the saying, “If I want something done right, I’ll do it myself.” Or if they have to delegate, they’ll at least be there every step of the way.

We’ve all found ourselves commiserating with our friends over drinks or with our spouses when we get home. “I feel like he’s strangling me,” you complain. “I can’t even go to the restroom without having to clear it with him first.” And so on. But fast forward and one day as you’re handling your own team, you step back and realize that you’re doing the exact same thing.

Yes, there are times when micromanaging has saved the day — there’s that project that went off without a hitch because the boss scrutinized every single detail your team worked on and found a small flaw that had the potential to cost the company millions. But like Christina Bielaszka-DuVernay said in her Harvard Business Review article Micromanaging at Your Peril, if a leader doesn’t learn to work with his team(s) in their best capabilities it leads to one major, costly issue: Disengagement. A disengaged employee is basically like having an infectious disease in the room — the apathy he feels affects not only his work (or lack of it) but also the work of his colleagues’. Others begin to feel the same apathy he does as they interpret their manager’s micromanaging as an implication of low trust and lack of faith in their team’s abilities.

DuVernay expounds on the cost:

“According to the book 12: The Elements of Great Managing (Gallup Press, 2006), absenteeism caused by disengagement costs a typical 10,000-person company $600,000 a year in salary for days where no work was performed, and that “disengagement-driven turnover costs most sizable businesses millions every year.” By contrast, engaged employees are more likely to show up to work, to stay with a firm longer, and to be more productive while they’re on the job. Gallup research cited in the book finds that highly engaged teams average 18% higher productivity and 12% greater profitability than the least engaged teams.”

Find out how leaders can unleash the potential in their employees and turn their strengths into your organization’s strengths in this Harvard Business Review article, Micromanaging at Your Peril.

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Unleashing Talent workshop

Unleashing Talent with Michael Simpson Are the leaders in your organization tapping into their employees’ highest potential? If employees are to make their highest and best contribution, they need leaders who understand what motivates them, what matters most to them, and what their strongest abilities are.

Learn how in a session with FranklinCovey Corporate Leadership expert Michael Simpson on August 7, 2012 at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel Ballroom.

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