The idea to write on micro and macro managing styles of leaders stuck me up when I was taking my after dinner rest to let the food digest in my system. Why did I even think of micro and macro management in the first place? I was like what kinds of leaders would there be in various organizations, corporations and agencies. How would those leaders be managing employees in their organizations? What would be their kind of leadership and management styles? And suddenly I was like why not find out about the management styles of leaders especially focusing on micromanagement and macromanagement since these two words have recently become the buzz words in the town.
I am not going to present here with an academic paper resulting out of a research but a mere opinion on my understanding of the two styles of management through what I would call a Google Research. I will focus my first part of the article on micromanagement.
Let us first look at the definitions of the micromanagement. The dictionary.com defines micromanagement as, ‘to manage or control with excessive attention to minor details.” Here is another definition of micromanagement from Merriam Webster, “to try to control or manage all the small parts of (something, such as an activity) in a way that is usually not wanted or that causes problems” or in other words, “to manage especially with excessive control or attention to details.”
Just by looking at the above two definitions of ‘micromanagement, one can see that basically micromanagement has a negative connotation.
Experts have said that severe forms of micromanagement can completely eliminate trust, stifle opportunities for learning and development of interpersonal skills, and even provoke anti-social behavior besides costing the company its best and the brightest. It is believed that some severe case of micro management is a condition defined by obsessive-compulsive personality disorder or a compulsive behavior disorder similar to other addictive behavior. (Hopefully it is not a personality split as in Dr. Jeykll and Mr. Hyde)
Because of the obsessive compulsive disorder in personality it is recommended for the micromanagers to seek out professional help.
Following are some of the most common characteristics of a micromanager and micromanagement: (Source: various articles from Google research)
1. Monitors and assesses every step of a business process and avoids delegation of decisions.
2. Gets irritated when a subordinate makes decisions without consulting them, even if the decisions are within the subordinate’s level of authority.
3. Demands for unnecessary and overly detailed reports. In other words, micromanagers are “reportomania”
4. Focuses more on procedural trivia rather than on overall performance, quality and results.
5. Does not see the big picture because they are too busy dictating the font size and the format.
6. Takes credit for positive results and shifts the blames for negative results to their subordinates.
7. Micromanagement leads to fear, frustration, depression, sabotage and unproductivity.
8. Loses the respects of co-workers and fellow employees.
9. Employees see micromanagers as dictatorial, controlling, judgmental, critical, and bureaucratic and many more.
Well, having looked at the characteristics of a micromanager, is there anyone out there who still think that you would want to be the kind of leaders who micromanage? Or do you think you could do better off especially in the 21st century with new ideas of managing your workplace and employees? I am reminded of a great quote by George Bernard Shaw, “Progress is impossible without change, and those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything.” And always remember that, “The first step toward change is awareness. The second step is acceptance.” (Nathaniel Branden”
P.S: My part two is on Macromanagement which will be coming soon.