A warning story for leaders: The adverse effects of micromanagement.

Yesi Days
3 min readSep 11, 2023

My Personal Experience with Leadership Styles

I’ve had experiences with various leaders, both good and bad. I’ve delved deeper into these encounters in another article I highly recommend you read. One particularly negative experience stands out, and it revolves around the insidious practice of micromanagement. There’s no valid justification for this managerial style; it usually stems from an excessive need to control the team.

The Illusion of Control and Surveillance

In our digital age, remote work has opened new avenues for managerial oversight — some less welcome than others. Some leaders insist that you keep your camera on throughout the workday, perpetuating the fallacy that visual surveillance equates to productivity. Far from facilitating practical work, this constant monitoring can create a culture of paranoia and suffocate creativity.

When Instant Messaging Becomes Overbearing

The evolution of communication platforms has been a boon for many organizations, but they can be a double-edged sword. Micromanagers often misuse these tools to keep tabs on every minute of your time. If you respond to a message immediately, they commonly flood your inbox or even reach out via personal channels like Telegram or WhatsApp. This behavior is intrusive and can distract from tasks, ultimately hurting productivity.

The Unspoken Costs of Micromanagement

While micromanagers may think they’re being practical, they’re often unaware of the negative repercussions of their actions. Employees feel devalued, stress levels rise, and the lack of autonomy kills any sense of ownership or enthusiasm for projects. This not only impacts the quality of work but also leads to a high turnover rate, as people seek employment where their skills and independence are respected.

Red Flags of Micromanagement

  1. Frequent Check-ins: Unnecessary meetings or calls to “see where things are at.
  2. Detail-Obsession: Excessive focus on trivial aspects of tasks or projects.
  3. Lack of Delegation: An unwillingness to assign tasks or, when duties are assigned, excessive scrutiny over how they’re executed.
  4. Approval Bottlenecks: Requiring approval for even the most minor decisions.
  5. Excessive Reporting: Demanding overly detailed updates and reports.
  6. Interfering in Team Dynamics: Interrupt interactions between team members, thus undermining organic relationships and trust.

The Way Forward

As we navigate the complexities of the modern workplace, leaders and team members must recognize the signs of micromanagement. Addressing the issue openly and fostering an environment of trust and autonomy is not just humane; it’s also innovative business. If we want to achieve great results and keep our best talent engaged, then letting go of the reins and empowering our teams is the way to go.

In conclusion, the risks of micromanagement are a critical issue that can sabotage the success of teams and organizations. It’s a managerial style that may offer the illusion of control, but its real-world outcomes are invariably destructive. Recognize, address, and steer clear for a healthier, more productive work environment.

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Yesi Days

GDE Machine Learning | Data Scientist | PhD in Artificial Intelligence | Content creator | Ex-backend