The Micromanager’s Handbook

Andy Walker
6 min readAug 18, 2020

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.

  1. Make sure you change everything that comes in front of you. This shows leadership and demonstrates adding value. It doesn’t matter how much effort people have put into doing something or how much rework it is. Some people may complain that the value added is minimal or that you’re making additional work without tangible benefit but leadership is about taking charge right?
  2. Nothing is more motivating than having your manager stood behind you correcting you as you go. If you can manage to intersperse your observations with theatrical sighs or tutting then it will be clear just how amazing you are at the job of the person you’re managing. This will inspire them. Find the time to hover and inspire via commentary. You may find people find other places to work than their desks. Insist on presence in the office during core hours so they are available when you need to guide them.
  3. The hippy element in society wants you to be dishing out praise to people. But, we all know this doesn’t work. People aren’t going to grow unless you are direct about what they’ve got wrong. Praise is a grudging admission that they’ve done ok. It doesn’t help people grow. Radical candour is making sure people know they can do their job better. Maybe one day they’ll do it as well as you.
  4. Attention to detail is important. See point one. Being on top of things is making sure things are done exactly as you would’ve done them. After all you’ve reached the pinnacle of your job — that’s why they made you a manager.
  5. Deadlines get things done. Yet your people don’t have the skills to manage them. Luckily you do. Don’t be afraid of setting deadlines for people. Good employees want you to challenge them. And it will help you identify the dross…

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Andy Walker

Interested in solving complex problems without complexity and self sustaining self improving organisations.