6 Signs You May Be a Micro-Managing Leader

6 Signs You May Be a Micro-Managing Leader 150 150 Jennifer Ledet

Dominant leaders typically want things done correctly and quickly. It’s easy to fall into the habit of “just doing it yourself.” But effective leaders know that they have a responsibility to help their team members flourish. That, I’m sorry to say, my dear fellow control freak, means that you will have to let go.

Hi, my name is Jennifer, and I am a control freak. There, I’ve said it. It’s true. I’m not proud to say it out loud, but I know I have half the battle won, just because I’ve recognized it and admitted it.

My control habits go way back. As a mom, I had difficulty leaving my children with a babysitter. My husband urged me for years to get help with the housework, (freeing me up to tackle high-return-on-my-time work projects) until I finally relented. As far as my own business, I haven’t been quite so bad, quickly realizing that having a professional tackle the back-end work on my website and social media would be a lot smarter than trying to accomplish those tasks myself.

The main reason that I had the courage to “come forward” is that in my work with leaders – “C-level” retreats, training programs, coaching, and consulting – I have talked to dozens of executives who admit to the same problem. Apparently, it’s fairly common.

Leaders, there are a number of signs you might be micro-managing.

You may be:

  1. Thinking that the world will come to an end if you aren’t handling every task, from the large to the small;
  2. Spending time on administrative tasks and admit that someone else could handle them quite proficiently;
  3. Barking at team members that it’s your way or the highway;
  4. Doing everything yourself and just realize that you are needed to tackle higher-level responsibilities that only you can do;
  5. Telling team members how to accomplish tasks and just accept that they got the expected results their own way;
  6. Having each task done to your exact specifications and welcome a job well done.

Try these action steps that you can take now to aid in your recovery:

  • Constantly look for ways to develop and cross-train team members;
  • Design a development plan for each employee, getting input on their interests, aptitudes, and strengths;
  • Prioritize your own work and focus on those high-rate-of-return responsibilities that you are uniquely qualified to do and delegate other tasks;
  • Mentor team members and empower them to handle the typical workload so that if something happens to you, or if, God forbid, you should decide to take a vacation, your business won’t come to a screeching halt.

You are right, it’s a challenging road to recovery, but I am confident that you can do it. Think of me as your sponsor and our community as your support network.

Welp, I gotta run. I need to go throw another load of clothes in the washer…ER… UH… I mean, I need to call a very important client! (Okay, maybe I’m not there yet, but I am a work in progress!)

YOUR TURN! What will you:

  • start doing,
  • stop doing, or
  • continue doing

to loosen the reigns and allow team members to flourish and get the job done without your controlling their every move? Use the comment box below to share your action plan with us!

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Jennifer Ledet, CSP, is a leadership consultant and professional speaker (with a hint of Cajun flavor) who equips leaders from the boardroom to the mailroom to improve employee engagement, teamwork, and communication.  In her customized programs, leadership retreats, keynote presentations, and breakout sessions, she cuts through the BS and talks through the tough stuff to solve your people problems.


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