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6 Telltale Signs You Could Be Micromanaging Away Your Company's Growth Potential and How to Correct Them

Telltale sign #1 that you're micromanaging your company
Does this sound like you? You’re an entrepreneur; your business is well past the early stage, but you just can’t seem to get either your company or your employees to that next level of growth, no matter how hard you manage every last detail. Well, maybe that’s your real problem.

Micromanaging can either limit or negate both
your company’s and your employees’ growth

You could very well be micromanaging your business and your employees. And, at the same time, either limiting or negating both your company’s and your employees’ growth potential.

Hey, it’s easy for it to happen. When you start out, all the responsibility is yours. Even after you’ve hired a couple of people…well, it’s still your company and still your responsibility. And as you add people and revenue that just continues. Has this been you? Even if it’s to a minor degree, you have to change, or one of two things will happen. You will run off whatever good people you have (if you haven’t already), or you will end up with some serious health problems from stress.

First, let’s take a look at six telltale sales that you are micromanaging. If you can relate to at least three of them, you have a problem. More than three you have a potential crisis in the making.

Then we’ll give you some proactive steps to get you less as the “center of attention” and give more responsibility to/getting more out of your current management and employee team.

Telltale Sign #1 - No (or few) decisions can be made without your approval.

Is this the way you’ve designed things are is this the way things have evolved? Do you have to have final say on every decision? Nobody wants to make every decision in their business. But if you don’t trust the decisions that some of your key people make or have made (you question them, publicly, or worse, countermand them), you either have the wrong people surrounding you, or you’re not letting them do their job.

Telltale Sign #2 – You always have more to do than time to do it.

You’re always first in, last out, while most other folks in your company work 8 hour days. And people have learned to manage up; filling your plate, emptying theirs. You haven’t taken a vacation in years, or if you have, you’re on the phone or email for a good part of it.

Telltale Sign #3 - You still do the payroll and sign every check, not just payroll.

What, you hired a financial guy, and you don’t trust him? Can't you just review the register or the checks before they go out?

Telltale Sign #4 – There has been some decent turnover, especially in senior positions.

Have you been running off good people by either not letting them do their job or giving them “authority on a string,” pulling it back when they seem not to agree with how you might do something or don’t do it fast enough?

Telltale Sign #5 – The people who have been with you the longest, always seem to agree with you.

Have you surrounded yourself with sycophants or “yes people” who agree with your micromanaging style? Are these people just telling you what you want to hear or to protect their a***s?

Telltale Sign #6 – You are still requiring and getting granular reports that you no longer have time to read.

I believe your staff would call it “busy work,” because while it once was important, it no longer is because no one benefits from it.

Now, how do you begin the process of breaking your micromanaging ways and helping both you, your managers and employees, and most important, your company to grow.

Role, responsibilities, authority = accountability.

If you haven’t already, explicitly, define key employees’, especially key managers’, roles and responsibilities. Then you need to provide both the tools and the training to meet those responsibilities. Finally, you have to define specific authority precisely so they can carry out their job. They will feel in control, and you will be able to hold them accountable.

Engage and motivate employees.

Micromanaging brings on silos, where people try to protect what little they can control. Instead, encourage teamwork and try to break down organization silos that have evolved. Help people to make decisions and encourage risk-taking. Allow people to fail and make mistakes potential teachable moments. Have scheduled, periodic, face-to-face meetings run by managers/employees, not you. Use regular company-wide meetings with all staff as communications vehicles.

Take time away.

This won’t be easy. If necessary, start with a half day off. If you need to, give people “marching orders” for when you’re gone. Do not be reachable and don’t answer emails. It will be hard, but better for you and the rest of the company. Then, take some days off; maybe a long weekend. And, perhaps, even…a vacation! You need the time away from the company and the employees to clear your head, and the company and employees need it if they are ever to grow.

Micromanaging can be devastating to your company’s growth and your personal health, because you can’t do it all, no matter how good you are. You need to allow the employees and managers to do the jobs you hired them to do to help them grow, professionally, and help the company grow. Change is hard but necessary for growth.

"The Entrepreneur's Yoda" knows these things. He's been there. May success be with you!

Have you been guilty of micromanaging your business? Please share your thoughts in your comments. It can help another entrepreneur or small business owner.

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