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Are micro managers sucking the life out of your people?

Heidi Pollard - Sunday, June 12, 2016

You know the kind.

The ones who invoke the sound of Dracula entering the shot in your head when they walk into the office. The Micro Manager. The energy zapper. The whingy, whiny, shouting, finger pointing painful manager. 

I call them Container Managers. 

Container Managers are basically the managers who find it hard to let go of the reins, to trust their team and get out of the way.

Container Managers are typically good at doing what has to be done. They are good at dealing with facts and not letting their emotions or other people’s emotions get in the way of making a decision.

Container Managers are great at developing procedures, implementing plans, and believe that no-one can do the job as good as they can.

Container Managers have a tendency to hold onto decision-making and undertake jobs that could be delegated which is not conducive to the creation of an effective culture and rather than creating a high performance team it is very probable that they are sucking the life out of your people.

Container managers are typically responsible for the bottleneck in organizations, where innovation is stymied and ideas are shelved. True they may be producing revenue and results in the short term however they rarely create a leadership pipeline, are reliant on the command and control approach and can ill-afford time off as their teams become co-dependent.

Container Managers approach may have worked in 1965 but it will not allow a company to survive in 2020.

The New Leadership Alternative

The best way for an organizations to begin to shape and construct a more positive and productive future culture is to start with its managers and leaders as well as with those in linchpin positions – in middle management.

In their book Multipliers: How the Best Leaders Make Everyone Smarter, Liz Wiseman and Greg McKeown discuss how great leaders extract at least two times more capability from their people than poor leaders.

Expander Leaders build great, sustainable, positive cultures.

Expander Leaders live by the motto that you have to give power to empower.

Expander Leaders value inclusiveness and participation, they hand over the decision-making process, and let their employees govern themselves.

Expander Leaders deal with the facts, but also consider how it impacts people emotionally. They listen to their employees, realize their strengths, tap into their potential, and include them in the growth of business.

Expander Leaders understand the power of emotions and non-verbal communication. They create healthy relationships, a caring and trusting environment which brings out best in their team.

Expander Leaders appreciate others, engage in purposeful conversations and help their people to find work they love to do.

Expander Leaders create driven, loyal employees who are engaged and energized, who want to make a valuable contribution to the organization and go the extra mile.

If you want to read more about creating a culture that works with more expanders than containers read my article here.

Which leaders are you creating in your company culture? #startwithU



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