No one likes being micromanaged. And few people even like to be a micromanager. The whole thing seems like a waste of time.

But the crime of micromanagement is about more than just inefficiency. It’s about an inability to make your own decisions, a loss of empowerment, a distrust between micromanager and micromanagee. Wasted knowledge and expertise, underutilized processing power, and an accountability vortex.

The better way is called macromanagement. In five easy steps:

    1. Hire the right people.
    2. Talk to them about the goals and strategic direction.
    3. Pay attention to the result.
    4. Talk to them about course corrections.
    5. But otherwise stay out of the way.

Well, steps one through four are easy. That last one is the hardest.

  1. Good list. I think a crucial skill is the ability to call BS, often hard when employee is specialized in an area where manager is limited or insecure, both in hiring process and of course later. Progress toward goals sounds simple, but when things don’t go as plans, deadlines missed and/or objectives reduced in scope, without enough subject matter knowledge can be difficult to untangle the environment from the person, untangling planning and expectation problems from performance problems, etc.

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    1. The ability to call BS is a crucial life skill and management skill. But I wouldn’t put it under macromanagement. If you’re a position where there’s BS to be called, then something went wrong in the earlier steps.

      Reply

  2. Attracting, and then retaining, the “right people on the bus” is crucial. Without them, you may reach your destination at some point, but the journey will be unsatisfying, unproductive, and often really tiring and unpleasant.

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  3. There is no reason to invent new words when existing ones do the job just fine. In this case, let’s talk about “delegation” rather than “macromanagement”.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Delegation
    “The opposite of effective delegation is ‘micromanagement'”

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  4. Found your blog after two years of this post being written and it is still as relevant today.
    Keeping people informed of the metrics that they should pursue would also help them solve things on their own.
    A perfectly complimentary post to yours is this: http://www.greatleadershipbydan.com/2015/03/how-to-work-for-macromanager.html

    Reply

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