Think of a time in your life, recently or in the past, when you worked for a boss who micro-managed you. How effective were you in your role and accomplishing your responsibilities? How safe was your working relationship with that supervisor? Did they trust you? Did you trust them?
I suppose there are times when micromanaging has a place (I cannot think of any), but real leaders have the ability to hand responsibility off to others in a way that gives freedom.
If you are in a leadership role, an aspect of your adult character is to give freedom to those you lead. Micromanaging leaders are typically insecure and lead out of fear and control. The ministries they serve or the organizations they lead typically do not grow. It is short-lived if they do grow because the real leaders will be frustrated in their role.
Obstacles to Giving Freedom to Those You Lead
Insecurity – leaders who micromanage could be insecure in their leadership role. They might feel threatened by those they lead, which in some cases is not reality. It’s faulty thinking inside the head of the leader.
Closed – leaders who micromanage could be closed off to outside input. That is, they are unteachable. The 2nd law of thermodynamics states that a closed system, over time, will deteriorate. The leader who is closed to new ideas is closed to healthy, new input. Therefore, the leader then has to control the flow of information within the organization.
Control – leaders who micromanage could have control problems (both self-control and others control). The fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5) says we need to develop self-control, not the control of others. Micromanagers, in essence, are parenting their team, which creates a toxic work environment. Adults don’t want or need to be parented.
How To Give Freedom to Those You Lead
Develop Your Character – If you are a leader who struggles with control (i.e., controlling others or developing self-control), then come to terms that this is a character issue inside you. Working with a qualified life coach will help you create the adult character that can help you lead with confidence in your organization.
Develop Systems of Training – Your team needs clear direction. They don’t need a parent standing over their shoulder to check up on them. Developing systems for training your team on your organization’s mission, vision, core values, and culture will go a long way in helping them to know the WHY and HOW to do things.
Trust and Adjust the System – Once you have a system(s) in place and have gleaned quality feedback on the system(s), you’re ready to trust the process and let your team run – give them the freedom to get the job done. They are intelligent people, and they can solve problems that come up. But that does not mean you don’t check up on things. Check the KPI’s, the metrics of growth, keep your weekly, monthly, and quarterly meetings. Finally, adjust the system as needed.
Did You Know
Did you know Terry offers consultation for your church or organization?
James M. Kouzes and Barry Z. Posner (2006). A Leader’s Legacy. Jossey-Bass Publishing.
Cloud, Dr. Henry (2009). Changes That Heal: Four Practical Steps To A Happier, Healthier You. Zondervan Publishing.
Cloud, Dr. Henry (2006, January). Integrity, The Courage To Face The Demands Of Reality. Harper-Collins Publishing.
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