IT Leaders Know That It’s Not All About Them

by drjim on April 9, 2009

IT Leaders Need To Learn To Not Be Micromangers

IT Leaders Need To Learn To Not Be Micromanagers

Please put your hand up in the air if you are a micromanager. Is your hand up – if it is then good, you have a pretty accurate picture of yourself. If it isn’t , then I bet if we talked with the people that you work with, we might get a different answer. By our very nature, IT Leaders tend to be the worst kind of micro-managers.

Where does our micromanaging come from? Of course we love to know how everything operates and so we are always seeking to gather more information. This is part of it, but it’s not the real root of the problem. That has to do with trust.

When you get right down to it, micromanagers simply don’t trust the people who work for them. It’s sorta a “give it to me, I’ll just go ahead and do it myself because it’s too much of an effort to make sure you do it right” sort of an approach.

It turns out that micromanaging any workers is a bad idea, but micromanaging IT workers is the worst. IT workers very quickly start to understand what is going on and they will quickly become complacent – doing only what you tell them to do and no more. This is a recipe for disaster.

So what should an IT Leader be doing? Simple, you need to be doing the following three things over and over again:

  • Help your staff to learn to work by themselves. You can do this by giving them meaningful responsibilities.
  • You need to facilitate the work of your staff even if you are not creating the final product.
  • Finally, you should give your employees clear goals and then step back and let them work out the details.

It was the great general, General George Patton Jr, who probably said it the best: “Never tell people how to do things. Tell them what to do and they will surprise you with their ingenuity.”
Do you think that you are a micro-manager? Have you ever worked for a micromanager? How did that make you feel? Did I leave anything off of my list of how best to manger IT staff? Leave me a comment and let me know what you are thinking.

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