Do you feel like you are micromanaged at work? Or, are you as a manager concerned that you might be crowding out the personal ingenuity of your team by giving directions that are too precise?
In this post, we set out suggestions on the topic of micromanagement, such as Lacy Schoen’s tips for handling a micromanager and advice for micromanagers themselves, as well as share an amusing TED talk by Chieh Huang called “Confessions of a Recovering Micromanager” where he describes his personal progression up the levels of management from start-up founder to managing others, to managing managers, and managing a business.
I would like to respond to your feedback, and specifically your concerns that I have been micromanaging you. Take a seat. No, not that one, the other one.”
Micromanagement is a topic that gets significant attention, with many saying they’ve worked for at least one micromanager in their careers. Superficial advice is often the knee-jerk reaction of quitting to get away from the misery of being constantly monitored and judged. One positive way though to view the experience is as a growth opportunity to learn what not to do when you gain a position of responsibility yourself. It can also teach you how to work with different types of people, a skill which will serve you well throughout your career. Read more to explore some of the nuances of micromanagement, including potential causes and how the employee might actually need close attention in the short-term.
Stan currently runs the digital client experience function for a major South African insurance group, incorporating digital business models and design, advanced analytics, insights, CX (customer experience), client communication, campaigning, social media and digital marketing. He is a major fan of Instagram (@stanleygabriel), and is launching a podcast titled Sizoba’Right with Sibs and Stan, reflecting his passion for storytelling. This is his story, which concludes with five lessons from his journey so far:
What drives Stan
An extrovert, Stan is incredibly confident and self-aware, in tune with how he feels and what motivates him. He prioritises time to think and reflect, and knows well what he enjoys work-wise: “If I think of all the roles I’ve been in, they’ve always been about something that didn’t exist or existed but wasn’t getting traction.” He also talks about knowing that he wanted to have certain career experiences, rather than a defined career path, and he has taken his personal and professional development seriously.
I love creating new things. I love getting things off the ground. I’m not that amazing at managing things that have already taken off. Somebody else needs to take that role… I’m more of the person that creates the strategy, thinks of the symphony of what we’re doing, really embraces new ideas, and less of the person that is managing the thing that’s already gotten success.”
A consequence of being in tune with his core is that he tries to set aside time to rest and recuperate: “For me what’s really helped is I am unapologetic about the time I need. I take it… finding new inspiration, gathering my thoughts, and reflecting… I’ve taken deliberate breaks when I’ve needed them.” Read more for reflections on Stan’s personality and drivers, to follow his career journey, and see his insights from his experiences so far.
Last month, William Hockey announced that he is taking a step back at the end of the quarter from the company he helped to build, handing over the reins to others. Together with Zach Perret, he co-founded Plaid, a Fintech platform that connects various applications with users’ bank accounts. William also served as the company’s president and Chief Technology Officer, and he refers to his announcement as “transitioning from my day-to-day role… to a solely board position”.
William shared on Medium the internal message he sent his team, as well as his thoughts on his transition, and we’re keen to share them with you given the self-insight and emotional maturity they demonstrate, while highlighting the importance of succession planning.
Read more to see excerpts from William’s post, as well as suggestions from Lolly Daskal (executive leadership coach and author) on succession planning.