One of the qualities of an entrepreneur is that most of them strive for perfection. Things have to be just right, and they have strong personal opinions about a lot of different aspects of the business. I know this feeling a little bit too well! When I see something like a presentation, proposal, process, logo, website or any other aspect of the business that does not look or feel right, I am going to be on it and seriously voicing my concerns. To a certain extent , voicing your concerns and getting people to buy into your vision is something you need to be good at doing. However, it reaches a tipping point, when you start controlling every part of the entire process, and things start to lose control. Most likely, if you are a small business, the people you work with have similar passions and goals as you. Each one of them may have functional expertise in their respective fields, and if you begin to micro manage what they do…sparks are bound to fly.
The argument that you have to let go to grow etc, is all very well and great to hear and read about. However, a perfectionist will always be a perfectionist. Whilst figuring out this entire letting go concept, I began to realize that I was micro managing because the people I was working with did not have the level of functional expertise and drive that they needed to have. There was always this level of doubt about their ability to deliver on what was promised. I then realized this micro managing was entirely my fault. Some of the reasons this was happening was either:
1. I had hired or partnered with the wrong individual/s.: A common mistake for first time entrepreneurs, and a lesson I think we all need to learn the hard way. If you put a wrong person in the wrong seat, you are bound to see fireworks happen in some form or other. Identify the role you want the person to play, evaluate whether they have the expertise to deliver, and most importantly , the drive to see it all the way to the end.
2. I had obviously delegated insufficiently or ambiguously: No matter how great a person may be, if he/she does not know where they are going or what they have to do, things get complicated. From the get go tasks must be broken down into manageable chunks. Performance metrics need to be established and regular updates need to be provided. If communication gets muffled, you spend half your time telling someone things you thought you had already told them. Be clear from the beginning.
3. Addiction to control: Perfectionists like to be in control. It is how they reach a level of inner peace and satisfaction, knowing that things are in order. By micro managing we withhold that level of control and that is why so many small businesses remain just that small businesses. This addiction for control becomes one of the greatest detriments for entrepreneurs to evolve into better and more confident managers.
Everyone micro manages at some point or other. I acknowledge there will be times when due to circumstances, micro management will be necessary. However, if it becomes a habit, you will begin to lose your best partners and employees, it will limit the amount of work you can take on, it will also cause insurmountable levels of stress and anxiety and eventually may lead to your downfall.
Do you think you micro manage?