Micromanagement, Motivation, and Getting Stuff Done


One reason we micromanage is the way we value our work.

When we arrived on this planet, we were motivated. We wanted to get good at walking, talking, and playing. We continued in school by mastering study habits and improving our grades. In our first jobs we focused on getting our work done. We were rewarded all along the way for what we managed to do. And we were often penalized for what we did not get done.

Soon we became leaders. We assumed that becoming a leader was a reward for being good at getting stuff done. And that being a leader required getting even more stuff done. So we set out to get the team to do stuff. We were not so successful. In addition to the team being unable to do the work as well (we thought) as we could, we were struck by the thought, “Wait a minute. If they do all the work, what am I here for? I better get busy, too.”

We wanted to be valued and no one told us that the measuring sticks had changed. What did they need to tell us? Simply that our value as leaders is not what stuff we get done but how well we build and maintain the environment for others to get stuff done.


In your corner,



PS: Of course, micromangement is not always bad. When team member is unskilled and not confident with a task, micromanagement rules until they get it.

PPS: Let’s get this message to our colleagues who are struggling with micromanagement. Can I delegate that to you?

Today’s photo credit: El Bibliomata via photopin cc


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