Micro-managers, aren't you exhausted?
Any business owner with employees understands the impulse to micro-manage. It's your business. If things go wrong, you stand to lose the most. When things go well, you stand to gain the most. And it's your business — you founded it, grew it, hired your employees. Why shouldn't you be involved in every part of that business?
As business owners, we must recognize that we are not our business. They may be labours of love built with our blood, sweat, and tears, but they aren't us. They're more than us. Or they should be, anyway.
When we micro-manage, we impose limits on our success and the success of our employees. Employees bring outside perspectives, fresh ideas, and new processes to address our existing challenges. Micro-management flattens perspectives, discourages innovation, and enforces existing processes — our processes — on everyone in the business. This is stagnation. It's the death of creativity and collaboration.
You hired people to do a job. Let them do it. They will make mistakes. They will be responsible for fixing those mistakes. They will do things in ways you wouldn't think of, and you might not always think it's the right way. That's OK.
When we allow our employees to make mistakes and try new things, we're giving them autonomy and ownership over their roles. It is challenging to care and feel invested in a job when you have no control over how that job is done. A disengaged worker has little incentive to improve and innovate.
Check any list of valuable employment skills and you'll see creativity, problem-solving, and innovation near the very top. In an age of increasing automation, we don't need more automatons. We need people who care.
Micro-managers of the world, I challenge you: let go, trust your people, and reap the rewards.