A love affair with micro-management

Aug 16 2007 by Print This Article

A new piece here on Management-Issues by David Tinker explores the reasons why micro-management is such a bad idea. Yet companies still seem to love micro-managers despite the damage they do, a dichotomy that is explored in this post by our old friend The Corporate Cynic.

According to the Cynic, in his early days in the working world being a manager meant "getting things done through people." However, he has noticed that recently the new definition is "Getting things done yourself", or even "Getting things done in spite of people."

He believes that the problem is that companies are rewarding the people with Type-A personalities - people who are "rigid, anxiety-filled, single minded, overly-demanding and fixated on the most miniscule of details."

"They are very good at performing the tasks to which they are assigned, particularly when left alone to their own resources. That is why many individuals exhibiting these characteristics are culled out of the workforce and promoted into positions that oversee the work of others. Their excellent work habits and capacity to take on more and more tasks are viewed as the perfect role models for companies to use in order to whip workgroups into shape."

The problem is that these traits do not translate to people skills Ė not to mention often leading to total burn-out that leaves a cynical and broken individual in its wake.

The moral of all this is that companies are rewarding people for the wrong things. They are thinking only about the short-term and not looking down the road when it comes to promoting people into management roles. In fact, it'd go as far as saying that most companies are rewarding and promoting exactly the wrong type of people into management roles.