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Effects of Micromanagement on Employees

By Star Report 3 min read

By Mike Fujihira, Sales Leader - New Home Star //

Many people are under the impression that, in the Military, everyone does things exactly as they are told and in a synchronous fashion. While this is true for many things within the Military, especially on the preparation side of things (how bags and equipment is packed, the way in which vehicles are staged, etc.), this is actually against how the Military is trained in terms of activities and tasks. The same principles are often applicable to those in the new home building industry.

I distinctly remember a time very early in my Military career as my unit and I were training for deployment. I was driving our Commander around during a field exercise, and we somehow began discussing the topic of leadership. He asked me, “Fuji, if I need a flagpole put up, what do you think is the best way for me to get you all to do that?” I thought for a second and I said, “Well sir, I guess that you would get some of us together and have one of us dig a hole, one of us get the pole and the flag, and then one of us would retrieve the concrete and begin getting that ready.” He stopped me there and said, “No, I’d simply tell you where I wanted it placed and how tall it needed to be. It would be up to you all to figure out how to make it happen.”

This conversation took place 12 years ago when I was a young Private just fresh out of my basic training. Though so much time has passed, it remains at the forefront of my mind in my role as a Sales Director for a team of new home sales professionals. I often catch myself getting too into the details and telling agents exactly how they should go through many of their designated tasks. At times, this managing strategy is necessary and efficient, but there is a fine line between wanting things a certain way and wanting just a little too much control. This is how micromanagement comes into play, which is exactly why my Commander wanted to leave my unit to figure out how to put up the flagpole on our own. Sometimes when you tell your subordinates the overall goal and leave them to their own devices, you can see just how creative, intelligent, and resourceful they really are.

Minimizing micromanagement may prove to be hard at first if you are a leader that catches yourself doing it, but it will be much harder for the leader that does not realize they are even doing it. Sit back and reevaluate the way you manage your team. Do you tend to leave detailed expectations for your team that probably exceed in length? Do you find yourself hovering or checking up on individuals regardless of their quality of work? If you answered yes to either of these, take a minute and think about why. If your sales agents are as responsible and driven as they should be, why do you cling to this style of management? Try to phase out this technique that often lingers within almost every management role; it may end up transforming your team for the better! If you leave others to take the initiative and complete their tasks independently, it will enable them to come up with their own ideas on how to achieve such tasks. This will leave them much happier, engaged, and invested in their own growth. Be the leader your team needs. Give them trust where trust is due, and let them decide what way they want to raise that flagpole. You may be surprised at just how well they can really do!


Originally published Jul 17, 2017 under Explore the latest topics, updated February 2, 2024

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