Micro-management. Ugh. We’ve all been there at one time or another. Or even guilty of being the micro-manager.

I can tell you without a doubt that it is not successful to be micro-managed or to be a micro-manager. It is INEFFICIENT for both parties involved. This goes back to hiring practices. Hire someone you can be confident in to get the job done, get it done per your expectations and get it done timely. Otherwise, hire someone that will. I hate to say it, but we are all replaceable in the grand scheme of things. Someone out there can always do it better.

I was once the victim of micro-management and intimidation of authority. It was absolute hell. Not fun. (And let’s face it WE ARE SUPPOSED TO HAVE FUN DOING WHAT WE DO!). If the phone rang or an email was received from this boss (and I’ll say boss because I’d hardly call this individual a leader in any sense of the word) there was a pit in my stomach. The impression that left on me as a professional in my field was extremely negative and honestly, not until recently, enlightening. I went from being with that company almost six years and just could not take it anymore. I left there refreshed but continually felt that pit in my stomach when any authority figure sent me an email or called me. An entire different level of nervous energy at all times just because that is what I was accustomed to.

Why in the world would you want your team to feel any of those negative emotions???? No one works well under those conditions. Constantly feeling tense and nervous and on the verge of tears.

And don’t get me wrong, I’m a control freak by nature. But being a control freak and being a micro-manager are two totally different things. Comparatively, both bad, I know, but I keep my control freak tendencies to a minimum as much as possible. And I’m one of the better ones, because I know this about myself and recognize it either before it happens or as it’s happening, and step back.

Anyhow, back to being micro-managed or being a micro-manager…..

It was not until I started with my new company and my new boss/leader looked at me and said, verbatim, “I will not micro-manage you, we hired you to do a job and I expect you to do it. We hired you based on experience and knowledge, so obviously you know what to do and what not to do.” I kid you not, that is an exact quote. I will never forget it.

It was so freeing! Someone trust me to do what obviously my resume says I’ve done for ten years now??? GREAT! FANTASTIC! WHOOP WHOOP! (Yea, I said it!) And let me clarify, it was not freeing in the sense of I can do whatever the hell I want, it was freeing in the fact that someone had finally passed that empowerment to me (see post on What Role Do You Serve?). That, my friends, is the truest, most refreshing feeling ever. Trust in a person builds confidence which equates to empowerment.

And what did it accomplish? It ignited the fire that had been lacking for some time in my property management career due to poor leadership.

I feel like I need to say this here. This is VERY IMPORTANT! Telling your team that you have faith and confidence in them to do a job does mean stepping away and not offering support. Empower them, but make sure you are still supporting them as well. There’s a happy medium between the two (support and micro-management, that is).

So don’t micro-manage. Don’t you have better things to be doing with your time anyhow? And if you feel that you have to, then I’d say you probably need to replace that individual that you’re micro-managing.

If you’re being micro-managed, well, you have two options. Stick it out or walk away.




  1. Many of us have had to deal with a micro-manager at one point in our careers, and it is a very disheartening and demoralizing situation to face. One way I have dealt with this in the past was to point blank tell a manager that if she continued to do my job, I was going to leave the company for another position. Not that I was a crucial part of the team that was not replaceable, but we were in a crunch time to deliver a software package within an 8 week time-frame, and the hiring process took anywhere from 4 – 9 weeks.

    The practice continued and I eventually left after I secured another job two weeks later. Yes we were in a crunch time to deliver the company’s product, and yes, I could have stuck it out until the end of that particular project. However, I empowered myself to find another job in my career-field. I also learned that I must interview my employers as much as they interview me to ensure a good fit for the position.

    In my current role as a business manager who influences hiring decisions, I want to make sure that I fill a position as best as I can. You speak a lot about fulfilling the duties of your role, and serving your role to the best of your abilities. I too look for the best person to fill a role, but I am also looking for thought leadership, informed ideology, I am looking for creativity as much as I am any other facet of a person’s abilities, because creativity serves to prevent micro-management opportunities. I certainly have very little time to do all that I want to do with my job, so I want to ensure that I bring on someone who sees our vision, follows our mission, and is creative enough to function in their role with little managerial input.

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