Merge's Blog

A perfectionist is a micro-manager (and a lousy leader!)

perfectionistAre you a perfectionist? If so, you’re probably proud of it; you likely wear your perfectionism as a badge of honour. But don’t. In Why perfectionism is NOT a good thing!, I’ve laid out five reasons why perfectionism is not a plus. But there’s another even more important reason to let go of perfectionism – because it also makes you a micro-manager. And (trust me on this!), micro-managers are lousy leaders. They’re hard to work with, and most people find ways to work around micro-managers and perfectionists than to work with them! If you are “guilty as charged” (and willing to admit it), then here are a couple of ideas on how to stop micro-managing, and build a better working relationship with your people.

  • Look within. Ask yourself why you micro-manage? Is it because there is a significant problem, or is it simply an expression of your need for control? What would really happen if the spreadsheet you received from a staff member was formatted differently than the way you would do it? Would it affect the actual outcome? Or only your perception of it?
  • Talk to your team about what you expect from them in terms of regular updates. Let your folks know how often you’d like to be updated on usual or unusual issues, and whether you want it verbally or in writing. If your team knows what you expect from them, it makes it easier for them to work with you, rather than at cross-purposes.

What other ideas and recommendations do you have to break the perfectionism and micro-managing cycle? Either from the perspective of someone unfortunate enough to have worked (or be working) for a micro-manager, or because you are a recovering perfectionist? Please share your ideas by adding a Comment below.

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