An Open Letter To Micromanagers


You look for a new staff member, a new employee, someone to add to your faculty.

You interview several candidates.

And then, finally, you hire someone.

They’re lovely, and they’re brilliant, and they’re the perfect asset to the workplace environment that you have created. These new hires are going to add value to everyone’s day and to the work that you all are doing.

They officially start their position.

You guide them through their first days, explaining additional policies and protocols and introducing them to people who were not on their interview schedule.

You show them where the coffee is, too.

This pattern repeats itself for a few weeks. And slowly, they start to find their groove. They ask you fewer questions. They take the initiative and seek out more responsibility.

You give it to them, but you continue to double-check their work.

You give it to them, but you still ask to be copied on every email they send.

You give it to them, but you still pop in to observe them, and you sit in as they are supposed to lead meetings, and you hesitate to let them work without your input.

You, dear friend, are a micromanager.

If you’re a micromanager, you tend to give excessive supervision to those who work for you. Instead of providing deadlines and a detailed explanation of what needs to be accomplished, you watch them closely and provide a constant critique.

Now maybe you don’t realize you’re doing this; perhaps it’s not intentional, or maybe it’s just a habit.

And it’s understandable to want to make sure the work is well done.

It’s understandable to want everything to be perfect.

It’s understandable to make sure that projects and seminars and workshops go off without a hitch.

It’s understandable, but it will inevitably drive you crazy and waste a tremendous amount of time and energy.

An essential component to being a good leader is knowing how to delegate. You, despite all of your best efforts, cannot do everything on your own, which is why you must hire people. And when you hire people, it’s imperative that you trust them to do the job that you hired them to do . Iif you cannot do that, then why did you hire them in the first place?

Relinquish the need to control every detail of the day.

Remember that you hired your employee, or your additional staff member, or faculty member, or assistant for a reason — let them showcase and harness their skills.

When you stop micromanaging the ones you lead, your workplace and workload will bloom and flourish.