OnPoint, LLC

Getting in touch with your inner control freak

We like to criticize managers who have an excessive need for control.  We refer to them as micromanagers, control freaks, and the antithesis of organizational agility.  Rarely do we refer to them as the person in the mirror.

I have observed far too many of these “hands on” managers over the years and have identified a couple of common traits.  First, they tend to be very conscientious.  They are driven to perform their duties to their utmost ability.  They are willing to put in as many hours as it takes to accomplish a task.  As a result they are quickly promoted to the ranks of management.  A second, far less endearing trait is that they speak with disdain about others.  They accuse one person of being lazy and another of being stupid.  They question the judgment of one peer and the honesty of another.   After a brief conversation with a micromanager, it becomes clear that no one is up to his standards.  This prideful attitude is the reason they are unable to delegate.  After all, how can one delegate to someone who is incompetent?

So, returning to that person in the mirror, how often do we fall into this pattern of thinking ourselves?  A little humility may be in order.  That humility may result from getting to know a team member well enough to understand his areas of expertise.  It may come from an embarrassing, public mistake of our own.   A sure cure would be to assume management responsibility of a function for which we have no experience.

From time to time it is good to get in touch with your inner control freak.  And then knock some sense into him.

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OnPoint, LLC