Manager or Micromanager?

micromanager directs everythingWhat is the difference between being a manager and a micromanager?  In one simple statement, “A manager delegates, while a micromanager suffocates.” Let’s take a closer look at how each of these impacts employees.

A manager sets vision, goals, and timelines and lets employees decide how to achieve.  A micromanager sets vision, goals, and timelines and tells employee how to achieve.

President Theodore Roosevelt said, “The best executives are the ones who have sense enough to pick good people to do what they want done, and self-restraint to keep from meddling with them while they do it.”

When a manager delegates, employees learn how to make appropriate decisions within their level of authority.  When a micromanager suffocates, employees are afraid to make decisions outside of the status quo.  Micromanagement stifles new ideas.

A manager checks in at key steps to give encouragement, answer questions, and provide course correction.  A micromanager directs every step to keep control, give answers, and provide course direction.

If you always tell your employees how to do everything, you will have to always tell them how to do everything.” – Denis McLaughlin

Employees like to be encouraged and hear they are on the right track once in a while.  A manager stops by at just the right time to say, “Keep going, you’re doing a good job.”  A micromanager discourages employees when they stop by all the time and say, “Here is what you do next.” 

A manager gives credit and takes responsibility.  A micromanager takes credit and gives blame. 

A good leader takes a little more than their share of the blame, and a little less than their share of the credit.” – Arnold H. Glasow

A manager empowers their employees to grow by allowing them to try out their new ideas in a controlled environment without fear of failure – after all that is how we learn.  A micromanager expects employees to follow the ideas given to them and failure is attributed to not executing correctly.

Be a manager and not a micromanager

3 Responses to Manager or Micromanager?
  1. Peter Boikowski

    Oh, that Business Managers from the 1960’s would get this!!!!!!! So much pain needed for so little gain! And then lost time through sickness, both physical and psychological! Lost production, lost efficiency, lost employees, more downtime, more breakdowns – argh! The humility that is needed to be a good manager! Like Sir Richard Branson says – ‘NO – to Yes men!

    • Denis G. McLaughlin

      Peter, you are right, history is not kind to micromanagers.