When micromanaging is effective

The cobbler’s kids with no shoes. The plumber with a leaky faucet. The business coaching company with a poorly defined role. Yes, it happens to us as well.

For the moment, let’s assume that you have a great culture statement, you followed a strong hiring process and you brought on someone who by all indications was a great fit. You had clarity and definition around their role, all the processes written and approved and knew the metrics that would determine their success.

You just didn’t manage to it and that, my friends, is the missing part. I have stated before in this column to hire well and let your team run the show. Steve Jobs is also widely quoted as saying that Apple hired smart people to tell him how to run the business, not the other way around.

Micromanaging has gotten a bad rap lately. And by micromanaging I don’t mean pestering every move someone on your team makes and constantly telling them what they do wrong so that you can make yourself feel better. That won’t get you anywhere. Certainly not in today’s millennial job market.

What I mean is that in the early days or months have regular meetings to make sure what you think is happening is actually happening. That way everyone is on the same page. Explain the processes that you expect and drive consistency.

So here are a few items that will make all parties involved more productive and effective.

Start with a simple process — this way we get in the basics. You want your team to stretch the envelope, to bring creativity, to bring new ideas. You want that after the basics are in place too.

Weekly recap — of what was accomplished, what went well and what didn’t go well.

Numeric metrics — take the interpretation out of it and have metrics that are almost Boolean — they happened or they didn’t. Or as our friends at Dragnet put it, “Just the facts ma’am.”

Engage heavily in the beginning so the routine is set. I personally love a quick daily meeting for everyone to get updated. I coach clients to have a Standing 10 at 10. A stand up meeting at 10 a.m. for 10 minutes with a defined agenda of updating the team. No extracurricular conversation and then everyone back to work. Then a short weekly team meeting on Thursday afternoons to do the recap and the look forward, giving Friday as the opportune time to implement and change direction, if needed, before the weekend mindset sets in.

Monthly, a required meeting to cover the financial statements so that everyone knows the financial facts and to draw the comparisons to the plan.

Then there are the required one on ones. Meetings with your direct reporting subordinates (and they should have these with theirs) where you and they can discuss what’s going on with them and shine a light on the business. Give them an opportunity to tell you what’s going on.

All in all, you become enlightened about your business. You are the owner who trusts your team; you are the business owner who relishes in entrepreneurship; growing this thing with the people around you.

Take Action today on setting the course for your people to run the show. Business is Fun! Now go run a lap!

Tony Marder
Tony Marder is a Gastonia resident and President of ASM Ventures Corporation. His clients are 2nd and 3rd generation family businesses that are ready to grow and make more profit. You can reach him for questions or comments at tonymarder@att.net
Tony Marder

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