Don’t Micro-Manage; Inspire Your People

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As a manager, you manage tasks; as a leader, you influence people.  It’s time to focus on the latter role.

In the old work of command-and-control, managers could walk around and help people manage their tasks.  Sometimes it was constructive; too often it deteriorated into micro-management.

One of the positive after-effects of the pandemic is that we need to jettison micro-management which does not elevate workers and drains supervisors.  As Steven M.R. Covey notes in Trust & Inspire: How Truly Great Leaders Unleash Greatness in Others, as leaders, we can inspire workers to be the best they can be, through mutual trust and serving as role models. We need to take some time to understand each worker, and how to help her/him unleash their potential for personal and professional growth. By doing so, we communicate that we care – and that’s the key to building a trusted relationship. Especially post-pandemic, workers want purpose; “they want to contribute their talents, skills and time to something significant and meaningful.”

To help  workers grow, leaders need to identify the (1) responsibilities for which workers are responsible, (2)  standards of performance to meet, and (3) ways they can acquire new skills, mindsets and talents to improve in order to increase their contribution to the company mission. Using the (A4S) system, each manager and worker have regular feedback discussions on job performance, contributing to the company’s culture, and learning new leadership skills.

The result is more employee engagement and greater productivity: two other potential after-effects of the pandemic!