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Micro-Managing Undermines Senior Staff

Posted by Ken Glickman

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Category : Coaching

Q: As President of a service-oriented company, I have always had a problem with keeping my senior management team. The average vice president only stays for about two years, and then leaves for another company. Recently, I had my HR director perform exit interviews and these leaders say that I am a micro-manager, something I am not aware of. How do I correct this management problem?

A. People become presidents and CEOs of companies because they pay close attention to detail and take a lot of pride in making sure the end product is what they planned it would be.

However as the company grows, the president can’t and shouldn’t examine ever detail of every project. Many presidents find themselves working eighty-hour weeks, making sure that everything is perfect.

By doing that, not only is the president working himself to death, but also she is not developing or demonstrating trust in his/her staff.

The senior leadership team wants to be challenged and given a free hand to manage projects and make major decisions on its own. Some presidents have a difficult time handing over that power because the final product may not be “perfect”. When they do reluctantly hand off projects, they double-check each and every decision the manager makes.

This is called micro-management and it drives managers and the leadership staff crazy. They feel like children who cannot be trusted. They feel like high-priced “go-fors.”

For perfectionist presidents, it is often painful to hand off power to other people. They feel that the risk of not having the result be exactly as they would have it is too big to take.

In reality, NOT handing off important responsibly to talented staff members can have a devastating effect on the company. Managers will not be nurtured, new ideas will not be developed, and the company will be in a constant state of flux as it searches to replace managers that leave.

Take it slow, but gradually hand off major projects to senior leaders. It’ll only hurt for a little while. Don’t second-guess their decisions and even allow them to fail, if that happens. Faster than you think, the group will develop into a strong team of professionals who will thrive with the new, challenging work. You’ll be happier, they’ll stick around and the company will grow.

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Re-Energize Mid-Managers

Posted by Ken Glickman

Tags :

Category : Coaching

Q: I have three senior managers who have been with me for several years. They’re all hot-shots and I want them to stay with the company, but lately I’ve been getting the feeling that they are getting bored and antsy. I’m worried they will leave the firm. How do I keep them?

A: The mid-career blahs is a disease that affects most of us. It’s always tough to keep seasoned employees challenged, energized and positive. And loosing them can have a huge negative impact on the company.

Retention of key talent has become a critical issue for growing companies. When new employees come on board, they like to see that the company is dynamic enough to keep the people who made them successful. It’s never good to see an organization that has no managers with tenure in excess of five years.

Here are some quick-hit suggestions that may keep your winners happy and productive.

  • Sit down with them and discuss their career goals, dreams, frustrations and what they want to do in the future. Do more listening than talking.
  • Send them to out-of-state conferences.
  • Assign them new projects that will force them to learn new skills and systems.
  • Ask them if they would like to cross train into an area of the firm that is totally different from their current job.
  • Hire them a Personal Coach.
  • Give them some unexpected benefits: sending their spouse with them to a conference, re-furbish their office, choose them to represent the company on a prestigious board.
  • Ask their opinion more often on new corporate initiatives.
  • Offer to pay for specialized training and/or additional college degrees.
  • Extend vacation time, more personal days, or consider an extended leave for a family trip or to pursue a hobby.
  • More money. Yes, cash works wonders. A nice bonus, promotion, or new office can awake those old juices.

If you demonstrate that you care about their professional and personal life, they will respond by not being so quick to jump ship when a fast-talking recruiter calls (better watch for them guys