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  • Am I a micro-manager???

    I have five direct reports: marketing director, sales director, bids director and presales director and hr director. They are my areas of focus. The also have areas of focus, i.e. HR has provide incoming flow of candidates, optimize motivation, keep staf happy etc. areas of focus. When we have regular meetings I run with them through their AOFs and projects, noting down next actions they promise to do till the next meeting. I end up with my system full of their projects

    Is that so-called micro-management? If the answer is yes, then what should I ask during our weekly meetings to have that at the proper management level?

  • #2
    I would think the only "micro-managey" thing about what you've said is that you run through their AOF, etc. at your regular meetings. Surely it's enough to just have them report back on what they're responsible to you for, and hold them accountable for same?

    You do not need to track their projects and next actions as if they're your own - just whatever they're due to deliver directly to you, as well as any significant "check-in" milestones, deliverables, etc. You can track those on your calendar and waiting for list.

    At annual review time, it is up to them to have kept track of everything they've accomplished and report accordingly.

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    • #3
      I also question if your direct reports are appropriate areas of focus. Sales might be an area of focus, for example, but your goals should not be implemented vicariously. You should have your own projects, not theirs.

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      • #4
        I think this is a great question! However there are so many point of view that we would take in great consideration. As their manager, however, I think you are more interested to get the best out of them. To get it and to prepare some good questions I thought immediately to the book "Coaching for performance" by John Withmore. In this book you can find the GROW model to ask questions. Goal, Reality, Options, Will

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        • #5
          Thanks for comments. Though I didn't understand what level should I track with them: goals, areas of focus, projects or next actions?

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          • #6
            Treat each of your directs individualy.

            Originally posted by Onion View Post
            Thanks for comments. Though I didn't understand what level should I track with them: goals, areas of focus, projects or next actions?
            The main problem with delegation is that you haven't five direct reports. You have five people reporting to you. Five different people. Not average direct reports but different people. Some may require micromanaging (and in the longterm it is not a good approach) and some can manage their areas of responsibility better than you without any supervision (and in the long term it is a perfect situation).

            The bottom line is - to be effective you've got to treat each of your directs individualy. It is more difficult than "standard" approach but gives much better results.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by TesTeq View Post
              The main problem with delegation is that you haven't five direct reports. You have five people reporting to you. Five different people. Not average direct reports but different people. Some may require micromanaging (and in the longterm it is not a good approach) and some can manage their areas of responsibility better than you without any supervision (and in the long term it is a perfect situation).

              The bottom line is - to be effective you've got to treat each of your directs individualy. It is more difficult than "standard" approach but gives much better results.
              I totally agree. I also agree with someone else on this thread who said that the five reports aren't Areas of Focus - "Staff Productivity/Success" (or however you want to word it) would be. And they're not each a "project" - they're just people you would have an "Agenda" list for - so you would keep track of whatever you need to discuss with them at your next meeting. It might be "What is Status of XYZ" or it might be "How was your daughter's dance recital?"

              Your overall department deliverables would also be an Area of Focus, and you would ideally have a "big picture" view of what's happening, what's delegated, etc. (Either a mind map, larger project plan, or whatever makes sense to your particular industry.)

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              • #8
                Agree with Carolyn & TesTeq

                You may want to take a look at what is now "an oldie but a goodie", namely Hersey/Blanchard's information on Situational Leadership.

                This will give you a much better idea on what level of item(s) you will end up following for each of your direct reports.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by johnaohman View Post
                  "an oldie but a goodie"
                  One more appropriate, short, immediate is The One Minute Manager. Should be also an idea for a present! Why not?

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                  • #10
                    Hello

                    Brazilian Gradiente company has launched Android powered smartphone called iPhone Neo One. However, this device does not have any relation to Apple, iOS or the iPhone cult.

                    Gradiente iPhone owns a 3.7-inch sim nam sinh screen, camera 5 "dots", can run 2 sim, support Wi-Fi, 3G and a microSD memory card slot. Machine running the operating system Android 2.3 Gingerbread. Brazilian iPhone version will cost $ 300.

                    However, the current technology world are interested are not included in the iPhone Neo One is that the dynamics of an "apple" for this problem.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Onion View Post
                      I have five direct reports: marketing director, sales director, bids director and presales director and hr director. They are my areas of focus. The also have areas of focus, i.e. HR has provide incoming flow of candidates, optimize motivation, keep staf happy etc. areas of focus. When we have regular meetings I run with them through their AOFs and projects, noting down next actions they promise to do till the next meeting. I end up with my system full of their projects

                      Is that so-called micro-management? If the answer is yes, then what should I ask during our weekly meetings to have that at the proper management level?
                      Onion,

                      I find it hard to tell from what you shared if you are indeed micro-managing. But if I worked for you, I could clearly tell! I've been micro-managed and it's not pleasant for me. (some people like to be micro-managed...I am not the manager for them!)

                      One thing that stood out for me within your comments was how you end up with your system full of their projects. I manage a number of people and I have them track their own stuff and don't add it to my list. When I meet with them I may have a Next Action on my list of something like:

                      Ask Peter the status of the deck project.

                      but I wouldn't have the deck project in my list, if Peter is the one handling it.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Onion View Post
                        I have five direct reports: marketing director, sales director, bids director and presales director and hr director. They are my areas of focus. The also have areas of focus, i.e. HR has provide incoming flow of candidates, optimize motivation, keep staf happy etc. areas of focus. When we have regular meetings I run with them through their AOFs and projects, noting down next actions they promise to do till the next meeting. I end up with my system full of their projects

                        Is that so-called micro-management? If the answer is yes, then what should I ask during our weekly meetings to have that at the proper management level?
                        Why are you having weekly meetings with these people? What value is generated by these weekly meetings? Are the meetings worth the time spent on them? Why are you writing down things they promise to do? These are directors ... they should be able to manage on their own. I'm just asking these questions. I don't know the answers.

                        You could ask these directors what they think. Would they prefer less frequent meetings, or different kinds of meetings? That's one approach. Their opinion is one
                        source of information, but not necessarily the only answer, and once you ask then you
                        need to show respect by at least seriously considering their suggestions or doing a
                        trial for a period of time.

                        Why do they even need to promise to do things? How about just letting them do their job the best they can, accomplishing in each week whatever is feasible given their moment-to-moment judgement about the relative priorities?

                        I guess I'm leaning towards thinking you're probably micro-managing too much,
                        but I can't know.

                        I think I've asked you earlier why you list things you expect them to do in your own system. If I were you I would think about what you need to do. For example: do you need to ask them at a certain time whether they've completed something? (Why do you need to ask them this?) Then you can put that in as your own action: ask X about Y.

                        How about having them maintain their own lists of their actions. If you want to know how they're doing, you can ask them to show you their list or read it out to you or just tell you what percentage of the actions are completed or something. I would think that if they're directors, they're probably the type of people who can do fine if you just check up on them every 3 months or something (although, not necessarily).

                        If you suddenly stop micromanaging, it's possible they might falter a bit for a while (because they've been accustomed to relying on you to keep track of things) but then they might do fine after that.

                        If you can't think of anything to ask at the weekly meetings, then just don't have weekly meetings. If you have to have weekly meetings for some reason, you can keep them short, and you can ask questions like "How are things going?" "What problems are you facing, and what are you doing to handle them?" and "Is there anything you need from me?" You can send them the questions ahead of the meeting (in the form of an agenda) so that they're prepared to answer.

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