In business management, micromanagement is a management style whereby a manager closely observes or controls the work of subordinates or employees. Micromanagement generally has a negative connotation.
Having worked with a number of small businesses over my career, it’s easy to spot the ones that will flourish and the ones that will hobble along and stagnate. One of the key elements that distinguishes between the two is the management style employed by the owners or senior staff. Managers or owners have, and should have, a vested interest in the performance of the company, especially if it’s theirs. Because the performance of the enterprise is so closely linked to their or their families livelihood it can lead to protectionist tendencies. This often morphs into micromanagement.
When employees feel the overarching strings of management and are held back from exploring new and better ways to do their jobs, or are afraid to fail, then they become trapped. They relinquish ambitions to improve their surroundings and their natural tendencies to better themselves through their work. Good employees want to do a better job. Like in Nature, the most common need is to survive and thrive in one’s own environment.
It is up to management to hire the best people for the job and steer them in the general direction of company goals. When bright and talented people are given a wide berth for exploration and ownership in the organization, great things happen. Mistakes will happen too, but it is crucial that managers see these mistakes as learning points and use them to keep top performers on course. We must mot be afraid to fail, as failure like so many have said before me is the greatest teacher.
Be like the Shepherd, not the Warden.