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Lisbiz strategies: Micromanaging can kill your business

August 6/13, 2018: Volume 34, Issue 4

By Lisbeth Calandrino

Did your mom ever tell you if you wanted something done right, then you have to do it yourself? If so, you’re probably still doing it and everything else. Sure, sometimes it’s easy to do it yourself, but you’re setting yourself up for a lifetime of aggravation.

Are you wondering why you can’t seem to grow a team or why employees quit? If you are attempting to grow a team, each person needs to be involved in setting goals for your organization. If your team isn’t growing, you can blame at least part of it on your micromanaging. Instead of nurturing your employees, you are driving a wedge between you and them and adding to their stress.

In 2016, a study at the Kelly School of Business, Indiana University, measured the level of stress of 2,362 employees with a micromanager and highly demanding jobs. The outcome was associated with a 15.4% increased chance of death. (The entire study by Heather R. Huhman is in “Entrepreneur, Voices on Strategic Management.”)

When people are part of the goal setting, they need to be held accountable for the outcome of the goals. You want them to see themselves as part of the solution and empowered, not failures.

Why do people micromanage? Oftentimes, it’s lack of trust or not really understanding how to manage or be a coach. They also tend to be perfectionists—in a negative sense of the term. No one measures up to their standards or can do the job as well as they can.

How do you stop micromanaging? Stop nitpicking and focus on the big picture instead. What are you trying to achieve? The more you focus on the big picture and results, the quicker you will get there.

The main goal is to create an atmosphere where people can express their ideas without repercussions. Not everyone has the right answer all the time—nor does the person doing the micromanaging.

Case in point: When I first went into business, I felt I needed to micromanage. I worried constantly. Suppose things went wrong, what would my partners think of me? What would I think of myself? I was more worried about these things than building a team of successful salespeople who could make money.

I began to realize I was both shortsighted and self-centered. I had to show everyone how good I was. I quickly realized people didn’t like me that much, and it was only getting worse. My ego was in the way. I had to get used to taking pride for the people who worked for me and developing them.

If you’re guilty of micromanaging, sign up for coaching and managing-skill classes. You might benefit from hiring your own coach to help you set some goals and hold you accountable.

Let’s say you’re not the manager; perhaps you’re the CEO. Micromanaging your organization is the kiss of death. The job of the CEO is to develop a vision for your organization. How much business do you need to show a profit? Where will the business come from? What ideas and skills do you have?

What is an executive’s job? He or she should constantly search for ways to improve profitability and growth by understanding the marketplace and its changes. As the executive, your job is to develop the vision for your group and motivate them to want to work their hearts out for the team.

Lisbeth Calandrino has been promoting retail strategies for the last 20 years. To have her speak at your business or to schedule a consultation, contact her at lcalandrino@nycap.rr.com.