Control Freaks make Poor Managers

Why do some managers not trust people to do what they are paid to do?
Business tug of war

Managers should be working on the business, not in the business. Leading and empowering. Getting the job done my people who want to do it. Showing Authentic Leadership. The irony lies in the simple fact that the ‘control freak’ manager can’t or won’t put their trust in their people to do what in fact they are paid to do. The manager’s inability to believe that anyone could possibly come close to their own exacting high standards results in them holding back, keeping staff on the end of a piece of string and playing ‘people puppetry’. They end up doing the doing, working in the business rather than on the business, focusing on detail and minutiae and getting drawn into operational activity rather than seeing the bigger picture. Staff become resentful, trust is damaged and the manager’s micro-managing habits cause cracks in morale and working relationships become strained. People cease to generate ideas, use initiative and disengage. The cycle continues in a downward spiral. Performance declines. People leave.

Are you a control freak? Really? Take a look at yourself – be really honest. A good starting point is to ask yourself – do I trust my team? Can they function perfectly well when I’m not around? If the answer is ‘no’ then you may be an ‘unconscious’ control freak. Learn to trust people. Learn to let go. The job may not be done to your own superior standards – at least not straight away, but people achieve great things when they are given the freedom and support to do so. They just might surprise you. Be patient. Be resilient. Be understanding. You will reap what you sow.

“No man will make a great leader who wants to do it all himself, or to get all the credit for doing it.”

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