Chronicles of a Corporate Career: Micromanaging the Joy Out of Work

I remember working on a big presentation years ago, and I was really pumped for it. I had done so much work leading up to this and knew the project inside and out. But every time I shared it with my boss, she made SO MANY CHANGES.

And they weren’t mission critical, they weren’t fundamental. The changes were simply to reflect how SHE wanted it done.

And so, I started doing WAY LESS. I did just enough to have something for her to react to – since I knew she was going to change it anyway. 

And that strategy worked for me – as I put in so much less energy – but it was deflating as well. I had no motivation for a project anymore that I used to love. 

This is one example of how managers treat their employees like drones…And not the creative beings they are. It’s so much more powerful to co-create the vision with your peopleAnd then see how they use their unique talents to help the team get there. Rather than control the vision and the “how”. 

This is a human-centric leadership approach. Micromanaging is not.

LEADERSHIP LESSON: If you have the need to control things, you have to do the work to loosen the grip. It’s a very human coping mechanism, but as a leader you have to take responsibility for this and find another way. Your employees may not be telling you how your control issues are killing them slowly, but trust me, they are. By trying to control how people do their work, you are keeping them small and constricted. By giving space for creativity, you keep things open for even better output and ways to do things because no matter what your parents told you, there is no one right way. Give it a try in very low risk situations to see what is possible. Better yet, have honest conversations with your employees about this topic to understand how your leadership style is impacting them.

This is a series of blog posts where I share my experiences in Corporate to bring to light the impact of what happens in those spaces – the good, the bad and the ugly. If you are interested in how I can help your organization with culture transformation, or how I can support you in your personal career/leadership journey, email me at breakthrough@toscadimatteo.com

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