The Micromanager’s Handbook

How to inspire your team to be nearly as good at their jobs as you are

Photo by Sagar Dani on Unsplash

Congratulations! You are a manager now. You’ve shown you’ve got what it takes to do master your job so now you get to manage other people doing that job. This is great because you know everything about doing your job and you’re excited to be making sure people do the job just as well as you. The only downside is you’re new to this management lark and people are strangely unreceptive to proper leadership so this guide is for you to make the transition and be effective in your new role.

There you have it. Ten simple steps to making a team you can be proud of.

If you’ve read this far and this is resonating with you in a positive way — I’d like to go on record as saying I kind of hate you. You are everything that made me want to quit my job and stopped me from doing my best work. Doing any of the above strips people of their ability to learn and grow and will create an environment where people are constantly anxious and unwilling to take ownership of things. It creates an environment where people hide information or misreport things. It creates an environment where people would rather be wrong and do what they’re told than solve problems.

I’ll finish on a warning. If you decide to go down the micromanagers’ path then you’re sowing the seeds of your own downfall. The more you do it the more people will find ways of working around you. In response you’ll try and exert more and more control on them. It’s a vicious spiral. Good management is not about control — it’s about providing enough freedom for people to grow. Given freedom and aligned outcomes — human beings will frequently astound you by going beyond your abilities. You’ll learn so much from this if you just learn to stop holding on so tightly. If you’re a new manager one of the biggest inflection points you have to face is understanding this change. I’ve seen people become successful by following this guide — but the wreckage they left behind them was immense. And micromanagement is hard work because you have to be everywhere and people will resist being managed this way. Micromanagers can’t go on holiday and things fall apart when they’re not about because they’ve made themselves the centre of everything.

EDIT: for those triggered by this, please read The Micromanagee’s Handbook

Ex-Google, ex-Netscape, ex-Skyscanner. Interested in solving complex problems without complexity and self sustaining self improving organisations.

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