Thursday, February 08, 2018

Hyper-Sensitivity about Micro-Management

Over the past few years I've seen executives, managers, and supervisors who are so wary of micro-managing that they shun soliciting information which they should have or giving advice which they should give.

Let's start with the advice. Giving advice differs from giving orders. If a subordinate confuses the two there may be a bigger problem going on beneath the surface. I've even seen situations where an executive refused to meet with his replacement because of fear that his remarks on the status of the operation could be seen as pressuring action in a particular direction. In so many words I told him, "So what? If your successor has any smarts then that advice should be seen as something that can be disregarded." Once again, advice is not an order. Information is even less so.

What is even stranger is when people shy away from asking for fairly basic information because they don't want to be seen as a meddling boss. That attitude ignores the fact that getting information is on one continent and meddling is on another. Bosses are expected to know at least roughly what's going on. The incidents I saw involved super-basic information; not the sort that should cause anyone to get defensive.

Sometimes you need to micro-manage. It shouldn't become a habit. If it does then the management system probably has flaws. Fear of micro-managing can spark its own problems and that fear deserves further examination.

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