Do you have Micromanagerialitis?

small business Aug 15, 2020

Many of us are micro managers and don't even know it. Micro-Managerialitis or MMI afflicts millions of people every year. From business owners to integrators to outsourcers, and there is no end in sight. It has grown to epidemic proportions worldwide and is now affecting our industry. 

That's right, you could have MMI and not even know it (although everyone that works with you is quite aware of it). Well, like everything in life, there's good news and bad news. The good news is that there is a cure. The bad news is that it takes a lot of work to overcome this horrible affliction.

To determine if you may have MMI let's look at some of the common symptoms:  

  • You must know everything that's going on with everything. 
  • You can't delegate work to others 
  • Everything needs your approval 
  • You don't just tell people what to do, you tell them how to do it 
  • Nobody asks you questions, they just nod and agree with you 
  • People roll their eyes when you talk 
  • Employees avoid you or pretend they don't see you 
  • Shortness of breath (ok, this one was just for fun) 

If you are a Micro-Manager or the more common name, “control freak”, you're not alone. It stems from the fact that you do not trust people to do what they say they are going to do and/or because everything has to be “your way or the highway”. 

The biggest problem with having MMI is that it limits you personally and frustrates those around you. In addition, it also restricts your company's sales, productivity, growth, and profitability. Like any other affliction, the first step is admitting that you have a problem. With that said, you've come to the right place and we are here to help you.  

We all like to do things a certain way and wish that others would just do things the way we do them. While this seems to be logical and straightforward, in reality, what you are really asking is for another person to be able to read your mind, assess things the way you would and then do what you would do. If you really think about it, this is just plain crazy.

Since you've already taken the first step and admitted that you have a problem, the next logical step is to do something about it. Before you do, however, we need to drill down into one important aspect of the problem.  

"One of the biggest problems that micromanagers have is that they don't just tell you what to do; they also tell you how to do it."  

Think about this for a minute because there is a very important point here, one that will solve most of your micromanagement problems. If you need someone to achieve a goal, do you also need to tell them exactly how to achieve that goal? As long as it is achieved in a timely fashion, without problems or added expense, does it really matter what process someone uses? And does it really matter if their process is different than yours? Most likely the answer is no. 

Let's look at a simple example. 

If you ask someone to put their shoes on, should you care if they put on their left shoe first and then their right shoe as opposed to the right shoe first and then left shoe? If they achieve the goal of putting their shoes on it doesn't matter. 

The same thing can be said for a webinar launch or a sales funnel. As we all know, there are many ways to host a webinar or create the perfect funnel. If you give your napkin sketched funnel to three different integrators, you will get three different approaches to the funnel and each one will be different than your approach. Each solution will have its own logical steps and will have its pros and cons, just as your solution would. But if the goal is to create a successful funnel in “X” number of hours, using “Y” resources for a budget of “Z”, does it ultimately matter how each integrator reaches the goal? If it is done safely and without cutting corners, obviously again, the answer is (or should be) no. 

"If you want your company to grow and your people to learn how to do things for themselves it is important to provide systems and support but avoid having your hands in everything." 

Give your employees some room to make their own decisions and gain the valuable experience they need to succeed. You will quickly find that not only will you be cured of Micro-Managerialitis, but your projects and business will run smoother.  

Also, the next time you talk to one of your employees, instead of rolling their eyes every time you open your mouth and Yes'ing you to death, they'll actually want to hear what you have to say and might even ask you for your opinion as opposed to you just giving it to them. 

If we all work together and respect each other’s ideas and opinions, we can put an end to MMI in our lifetime.

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