Micro vs. Macro Management

micro vs macro management

These Soldiers are learning mission planning.

Management styles differ dependent on the leader. But when it comes to projects and tasks there are two styles that reign supreme: macromanagement and micromanagement. Generally speaking macromanagement is the way to go. With macromanagement you allow your subordinates to take on tasks that you do not have time for yourself. They show you the results, you give your guidance, and they revise the product. It’s as easy as that.

Let your subordinates fail: I do not mean this in a negative way. Let them make mistakes and feel their own way to a solution. This lets them learn what works and what doesn’t. I know I have learned more by making mistakes and my supervisor telling me how it could be done better, rather than my supervisor telling me exactly step by step how they want it done, where they want it done, and the time frame they have it done.

It saves time: Micromanagement style burns a lot of unnecessary time. Think about it. If you have a big project and your immediate supervisor tells you exactly how he wants it, what materials are needed with the specifications, where he wants it and picks the damn color. He has not only burned through the man hours of his time, but your time as well when he could have just given you the broad strokes of what he wants. Now because you know he doesn’t trust you with the details, you have to go back to him every time there is a little decision that needs to be made.

With micromanagement, why am I here?: If your manager is micromanaging every decision, why are you even there? Your manager should be able to delegate a project or a piece of a project and trust that you can accomplish that task with a little guidance. After the task is completed, you can go to your supervisor to get any additional guidance. If your manager is deep in your Wheaties trying to do your job, then he is not doing his job. Therefore, why are you there, but a better question is, why isn’t he demoted so he can do your job?

Develop leadership and problem solving: If you are taking all the decisions away from your subordinates, then you are essentially sapping them of opportunities to make creative and innovative solutions to problems. Yes, you should always be willing to give guidance if it is asked for, but you should also be able to allow your Soldiers to solve the problem in their own way. Heck they might come up with a better solution. You are also diminishing them and undermining their leadership ability by not allowing them to make leadership decisions when you micromanage all decisions.

Micromanaging is irritating: Essentially when you micromanage your Soldiers or subordinates you are telling them “I do not trust you to make any decisions.” Additionally all the progress reports and continuous updates just hinder the process, waste everyone’s time and pisses everyone off. So just stop with the micromanagement.

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