Most of us cannot stand the word, “micromanage” because of the negative connotations of that word. You’ll often hear people who are newer in business say that you should never micromanage.
In this post and video I look at micromanagement in a way that perhaps you haven’t before, and hopefully untangle some of the confusion you have in your mind regarding micromanagement.
First, let’s define what the word “micromanage” means.
To micromanage means to control every part, however small.
About a year and a half ago, I was at an Inc. event with Mark Cuban. One of the questions posed to Mark was, “If you run so many companies, and you work with so many CEOs through Shark Tank, how do you deal with these CEOs?”
He said, “I micromanage the CEOs until I trust them.” Key phrase: “Until I trust them.” This is a three-billion-dollar guy, not just an author, who’s built businesses and owns businesses and coaches CEOs saying, “I micromanage leaders and CEOs of companies until I trust them then I let them go.”
Two Ways to Look at Micromanaging
There are two ways you’ve got to look at micromanaging. One is people, and the other is procedures. Let me explain this in a way that will perhaps make you look at micromanagement differently.
We all agree that the word, “micromanage” has negative connotations. But the word “cult” also has negative connotations, and yet we’re very comfortable using the word culture, perhaps without thinking about the fact that the first four letters of culture spells cult. If we don’t like cult, you could say we should never use the word, “culture” and yet we do.
People say that Apple is a cult, because they have a strong culture. Wal-Mart is a cult because they have a strong culture. Microsoft is a cult because they have a strong culture. Now of course there are a lot of negative cults out there, but in business there are a lot of great “cults.”
So there are really two places you micromanage.
- People – which has a very short life span
- Procedures – which has a much longer life span
In raising a family, if you don’t watch what your kids are doing, and you just let them lose, you’re leaving a lot to chance. Very few parents feel that they should let their kids do whatever they want.
Most parents make a lot of decisions regarding what their kids do or don’t do, especially when they’re at a young age. If they don’t, they’re not building a leader.
But the approach that they take when giving instructions to their kids is important.
The reason we have a problem with micromanagement is because the person leading us did it in a way that completely frustrated us.
When it comes to hiring and micromanaging people, my style is very similar to Mark’s. The moment I trust someone, I let them go and I just monitor them once a month or if I have to inspect, I do that.
Micromanaging people has a very short life span. Then from there, you just lead, mentor, and encourage them. This is important because people are people, and they have to have their own space to do things so their creativity works.
People do have feelings. They need to be able to spread their wings and fly sometimes. You’ve got to give that freedom to people because they bleed, they have emotions, and heart.
But there’s one thing I micromanage all the time, and that is procedures. There’s never a lifespan where you’ll never micromanage procedures.
As I mentioned above, people have feelings. But procedures don’t have feelings. Procedures don’t have emotions or heart. Because of that, you OVER micromanage procedures.
What are procedures?
Here are some examples. Go over your sales flow. What is step #1 of your sales flow? What is step #2? Etc. You need to go through each of those steps, find out where the “leak” is, and fix that.
You need to go through the flow of customer service. This can be everything from having a script that says, “How may I help you?” rather than, “How can I help you?” or “May I please get your telephone number in case we get disconnected?”
These procedures are very detailed, and you can analyze them and fix the weak areas. Procedures can and should be updated regularly to make sure they’re still the best way to handle things.
You can also analyze the amount of time that it takes to do certain parts of a procedure to see if you can reduce the amount of time it takes to do the actions. The more you micromanage the procedure, you eventually make it faster.
Procedures are duplicable, replicatable systems that when followed, yield the best results for your business.
More than a Visionary
Some entrepreneurs I talk to say things like, “Look, I’m more of a visionary. I don’t deal with minutia.” That is the dumbest thing I hear entrepreneurs say because they think this visionary is going to build a billion-dollar company by purely being a visionary.
If you’re not too careful, and don’t micromanage your procedures, you will very quickly become an unemployed visionary and having a job. The visionary needs to buckle down and for at least a moment forget about being a visionary.
The only time you’re a true visionary or CEO is when other people call you one. Other people will identify you as that. Until then, you need to get your system flow in place. You need to look at it over and over again and figure out ways to speed it up and make it more efficient.
Procedures are what you ought to micromanage over and over and over again. And yes, this is boring! But when you get your hands dirty and do this boring work, you end up building a business that lasts. The failure to do this is why only 5% of entrepreneurs make it.
My Challenge To You
The message is very simple.
- When you get off this video, I want you to watch another video I did a few months ago called How to Scale Your Business.
[infobox maintitle=”Recommended Video” subtitle=”How to Scale Your Business” bg=”gray” color=”black” opacity=”off” space=”30″ link=”http://patrickbetdavid.kinsta.com/how-to-scale-your-business/”]
- I want you to grab a pen and paper and write down all of the procedures that you have for your business and ask yourself, “How can I speed up the process of this procedure?”
- On a daily basis, or at a very minimum, weekly, study your procedures and make them tighter and eventually your procedures will make you ten-fold , 100-fold, 1,000-fold the results that you’ve ever fathomed because it makes the business predictable.
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