Don’t Kid Yourself, Micro-Management is a Macro-Problem

Today’s Growth Coach Blog is dedicated to the dreadful disease of micro-management … that all too common condition where a business owner mistakenly thinks he/she needs to do everything in a business. Where they incorrectly assume they need to be the Chief Everything Officer instead of the Chief Executive Officer.  While micro-management may not kill you, it will surely exhaust you on a perpetual basis, make you feel like a prisoner to your business, stifle the development of your employees, and restrict the growth of your business.  So yes, if you don’t do anything, micro-management will become a macro-problem for you going forward.

Please trust the 18 years of experience of this business coach, if you remain a micro-manager it’s a brutal way to go through life and manage a business.  As your business grows, your micro-management tendencies will end up crushing you.  Bottom line, you end up paying a huge price…mentally, physically, emotionally, financially, and spiritually.

Since The Growth Coach franchise system collectively serves several thousand small business clients each year, we see the damage of micro-management up close and personal when clients first come to us for coaching services and help. Here’s your wake-up call.  Stop playing games with yourself.  If running your business is perpetually painful and exhausting, you are simply doing it wrong. This Growth Coach is here to tell you that micro-management does not need to be your destiny … it does not need to be your life sentence.  There is hope and better ways to lead and run your business.

To get us off to a good start, let’s review some basic Growth Coach principles.  First, as a strategic business owner, your primary aim should be to develop a self-managing and systems-oriented business that runs consistently, predictably, smoothly, and profitably whether you are there or not. You cannot achieve that goal if you are a micro-manager and have to make every decision and solve every problem.

Second, you should shape and own the “business system” and employ competent and caring employees to operate the system. If you are a micro-manager, you unfortunately ARE the business system.  You will never be free from the daily operations of your business and your business will never grow beyond the bottleneck … YOU!

Ready to get your life back and enjoy running your business again?  Ready to trust others, let go a bit, and stop micro-managing? If so, here is a simple four-step business coaching process to help you battle micro-management:

Step One. Change your mindset from that of an employee to an employer.

Your business will not change unless you change.  And changing your mindset will create massive breakthroughs for you and your business.  For example, go from trying to be in total control to being in charge. Don’t be content to be a super-worker, strive to be a supervisor!  Stop thinking and acting like an employee … you’re the owner and need to start acting like one.

Stop the “I’ll do it myself” and “No one does it as well as I do” attitudes.  Learn to delegate.  If someone else can do a lower-value task 80-90% as well as you, give it up! Don’t spend a dollar’s worth of time on a dime task.  Know your areas of brilliance, your leadership responsibilities, and delegate or outsource most everything else. Again, be in charge, not in total control.

Step Two. You must change your beliefs about your own worth. Believe that your time is very valuable and learn to discriminate between various activities.

Here are a few Growth Coach delegation strategies.  Before doing a task yourself ask, “Does this task lead directly to increased profits, significantly reduced costs, improved customer satisfaction, or to me building a better business”? If it doesn’t, dismiss the task or delegate/outsource it.

Or before you touch a task ask, “Is this task worth AT LEAST $100-$200 per hour?” If not, find someone else internally or externally to do this task at a cheaper rate.  You must realize that your leadership thoughts and actions (defining your vision, leading, planning, building systems, holding people accountable, etc.) are worth at least $100-$200 per hour if not much more.  Any task you tackle below that rate is like stealing profit from your company.  If you don’t highly value your time and talents, you will never learn to be effective at delegation.

Step Three. You should document the work of your business so that you can effectively train others to execute the work.

Create an Operations Manual for your business or oversee the creation process.  After all, you want to make yourself replaceable in the technical trenches of your business.  To repeat, define and document the specific work to be done and then train others on how to do it and delegate to them.  Don’t suffocate the talents and growth of your employees. With your documented processes in place, you will be able to relax and TRUST your people to follow the system.

Step Four. And finally, by all means, get out-of-the-way of your managers and workers.

You pay them to do their work, so LET THEM DO THEIR WORK.  Don’t meddle on an hourly or even daily basis.  Instead of you doing their jobs or micro-managing them, help them to clarify their roles, responsibilities, goals, and tasks and then simply hold them accountable for getting things done and for results. Your job is to create jobs, not work jobs.

Of course, be sure to monitor your employees’ performance on a regular basis but don’t try to control them.  Again, be in charge, not in total control.  Once they demonstrate competency and character, give your employees even more authority to make things happen.  Let them tackle stuff on their own and come to you only when they need further guidance.  Instead of micro-managing, manage by results. Your employees will develop and grow … so will your company!

Stop trying to be the Chief Everything Officer.  The more you let your employees do, the better off you and your business will be.  Without having to do everything yourself, you will grow to love some free time and your business once again.

Read our FREE e-book for additional help on “Becoming a Strategic Business Owner”.

Talk with a Business Coach on how business coaching can help you become a strategic business owner.

Business coaching clients stop being the “Chief Everything Officer” and enjoy a more successful business and personal lives.

About Daniel M. Murphy

CEO, Founder & Business Coach, The Growth Coach Business Coaching Franchise System, Certified Business Coaches throughout North America
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