Does any one know how to stop being a mico manager?

14 replies
im stuck in a loop that killing me.
AND im not sure how to get out of it, so anyone
that's been in this position, i would welcome some ideas.

the jist is very simple, im a sales guy, and a software programmer
( yeah i know weird combo )

my partner handles all the back end stuff. ( company deals , JV's , babies the merchant accounts, ect )

in the beginning, we simply figured, we would do everything, until we could hire people then we could step back and concentrate on what we do best.

well that's not how its happening, seems the more people we hire,
the LESS we get done.

We have even hired managers ...even with them in place, things
are not evolving properly.

This is not my first attempt at business, i successfully created another one and it quickly grew into a monster, had the same issues then as we do now, i thought it was because the business grew too fast.

So, we have trying to build this one slow and properly.

but i can see the writing on the wall, we are heading towards a HUGE
problem if we don't fix it.

I know we need to give more discretion to some of our employees,
but none of them are 100% up to the task.

we have yet to be able to hire any one that comes even close to our knowledge, so we have been doing specialty hiring, and then trying
to teach them backwards,

that's not working so well either, because while they can understand the broad strokes, they don't get the finer details... the ones that can make or break our customers...

any suggestions?
#manager #mico #stop
  • Profile picture of the author mojo1
    Hi Ken,

    I'm just curious. Are the people you're currently managing all employee or contractor status?
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    • Profile picture of the author kenmichaels
      Originally Posted by mojo1 View Post

      Hi Ken,

      I'm just curious. Are the people you're currently managing all employee or contractor status?
      most are employees, in a real world office.

      Selling Ain't for Sissies!
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      • Profile picture of the author Jerry McGough
        Hi Ken,
        i've been self-employed in a specialty business for about 25 years.
        I think I know where you're coming from.
        -wearing too many hats
        -feel like others aren't doing their job as well as you would
        -spending so much time training that it's counter productive to giving you more free time

        There are loads of bargains out there when it comes to hiring.
        Find a good self-sufficient and experienced manager that fully understands that you want them to run things with minimal contact with yourself.
        AND OVERPAY THEM......

        If they free you up, they're worth twice a normal salary.

        After you hire, tell them they'll get you for 1/2 hour every morning for a month.
        After that they're down to ten minutes for two weeks. After that they're on their on or "Good luck in your future endeavors"

        Good luck

        P.S. Your stress meter is flashing little lights. The best time to take a vacation is when you don't have time to take a vacation.
        If you're in the USA, I'd suggest a week in Key West prior to hiring.

        Edit: P.P.S. Just saw where you're from ...... my favorite state (The Conch Republic/Key West is my favorite country)
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  • Profile picture of the author dropbear
    get higher quality employees (obviously comes with higher salaries/overhead) or pay them your current salary rates with kickers on company or department growth/performance. You will get more from each manager if they know that their comp is based on how the company does..They may even stay past 6pm..It has worked for me..
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    • Profile picture of the author David Miller
      Been there, done that, franchised the T-shirt.

      Having experienced the same kind of frustration both as an owner and manager I understand to some degree what it is that may be at issue, besides the need to vent.

      It's easy to say hire a better quality manager or employee regardless of how hard or easy it may be to find.

      For me the problem was more what I would call the "fear of letting go". In other words, when it's your baby it's hard to accept that you can turn over to a "hired hand" what you so lovingly created and expect it to perform the way it has been.

      We think we are doing our manager a favor by not letting them take over as fully as we'd like. Deep in our heart we don't believe they can do it as well as we can. We "drip feed" them responsility and because of that they may not have the entire picture they need to do the job that we hope they will do.

      This creates the issue where a manager gains incremental responsibility but not the authority that should accompany it. A good manager will recognize this as doubt in their ability and come back to us to seek assurance for those very decisions and tasks we thought we were hiring them to do. Therefore, it does seem we are doing our job and the job we hired the manager do. It does, as you suggest, put you in an endless loop of feeling like a micro manager.

      The solution, IMHO, and in my experience, is to just let go. Give the manager the opportunity, responsibility, and authority to do what you hired him to do. Provide guidance along the way when it's needed, and give them a chance to succeed.

      In the end, it's the only way you'll know if you've hired the right person.

      If you don't you'll find that your desire to own your own business simply ended in buying a job.
      The big lesson in life, baby, is never be scared of anyone or anything.
      -- FRANK SINATRA, quoted in The Way You Wear Your Hat
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      • Profile picture of the author kenmichaels
        Originally Posted by David Miller View Post

        This creates the issue where a manager gains incremental responsibility but not the authority that should accompany it. A good manager will recognize this as doubt in their ability and come back to us to seek assurance for those very decisions and tasks we thought we were hiring them to do. Therefore, it does seem we are doing our job and the job we hired the manager do. It does, as you suggest, put you in an endless loop of feeling like a micro manager.

        The solution, IMHO, and in my experience, is to just let go. .

        I have been thinking about what you said above all night.

        I think your correct, but i have no idea how to do it.

        how did you do it?

        Did you do it cold turkey style? or some other way?

        All night i have been thinking of reasons why if i stop
        things will get messed up. As i was going out the door
        this morning i was had an epiphany,

        that while they were valid reasons, they were still nothing but excuses.

        Selling Ain't for Sissies!
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  • Profile picture of the author kenmichaels
    hmm... maybe i should combine Jerry and Davids advice.

    Take a 2 wk vacation, and see if we have a business when i get back.

    i could use one, its been a few years.


    Selling Ain't for Sissies!
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    • Profile picture of the author Leads4Builders
      Hey Ken,

      I know exactly what you mean. I've recently taken the plunge and added some new employees...It's extremely hard not to be a micromanager, because your business is your baby and you want someone that can do it like you. It's especially tough in this industry, where there's no handbook on how to do offline marketing and you build your own systems and strategies.

      Reading the book The E-myth Revisited really helped me. If you haven't read it, I highly recommend it. It talks about this exact issue and gives awesome advice on how to hire and set the systems in place so your company can grow without having you micro manage it.

      Your business process and systems are more important than the people you hire. You want to set it up, so anyone can do the tasks necessary to move the business forward. Anyway, just my 2 cents... Good luck!

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  • Profile picture of the author shand
    The key for me has always been good training and a good "safety net", because sometimes you just have to let them fail a little before they get it.

    I have always been a stickler on processes and systems. Everything has a workflow and a way I want to see things done and I always look to my team to help develop the workflow because as good as I think I might be, I can't do it alone. With a documented process and workflow in place, then it's good training to make sure everyone understands their job. It's just like playing any ball game. Practice, practice, practice, knowing your place on the team and who you back up.

    Then the safety net. Everyone has to be able to fail a little. I don't mean damage the business kind or constantly fail, but heck I've made mistakes, it's all part of the learning cycle. The safety net is to make sure there is some reasonable point to step in.... before that it's advice and guidance.

    The other thing I learned was to not "accept the monkey". If my team has a problem with something I don't solve it for them. I help them think through the solution. Again, part of the learning process.

    Finally, lots of communications.

    All of this comes from a mentor I had when I first became a manager in a major corporation. He always said you're not doing the right job unless you've trained your team well enough that you don't need to call in while your out of the office. Yes none of them individually were me, but together, they could figure out almost anything.

    And, that last point was an expectation I had of the team and that they understood.

    Just my thoughts after 30 years of managing teams... it worked for me. Might be something here for you.

    Good luck,

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  • Profile picture of the author Rabrown
    can I recommend a book? Rules of management by Richard Templar - I think it might help you.
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  • Profile picture of the author John Durham
    With the telemarketing forum, i find it hard to find leaders, because they are able to use it as a platform to launch their own careers... So delegation doesnt work very well for very long...

    No one is more interested in your project than you are, sometimes you feel you dont have time for all of them. I understand the dilemma.
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    • Profile picture of the author plainwords
      Hi Ken,

      A lot comes down to hiring the right people. I've made every mistake in the book when hiring people, usually by trying to get people cheap and hoping they will do a good job.

      When you do have the right people, it's easier to let go because you know they will deliver.
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  • Profile picture of the author mjbmedia
    First off I echo Davids sentiments above so I wont rewrite the same thing.

    Additional then :-

    Do your employees and managers really know and understand what their limits are, what they are responsible for, what expectations you have of them , or do you just think they know those things? Is it all in writing for them and you to check and update on a regular basis or is it that they remember you saying one thing, you're sure youre said another thing, and somewhere in between is the forgotten truth.
    Is there a organisational and management structure plan for the company, if you havent then read Emyth revisited chapters 14 & 15 most relevant to this (even re read it)

    Do you give them ample and simple opportunities to put forward some of their own ideas and suggestions for ways theyd maybe rather do some of the stuff and make them feel great for doing so, remember what you find interesting to do , others may prefer doing it another way and so deliver better results and its the results, not the journey, that count

    If you're letting your managers run things to a certain extent, its unlikely they will deliver as well as you, so even if theyre only delivering at say 60% of your capacity, theres still your input to add to that , say 75% as you wont be so hands on, take on a second manager and they do 60% and now youve got a chance to step back a bit more to say 40% , youre still getting 160% capacity and more time to yourself to really grow and run the business or step away more , so the managers will never likely reach your expectation, but they will give you the opportunity to step back and see the business as it really is, thats priceless, as you see the great bits, the warts, the scars, the bruises, the possibilities that you miss when your heads buried in the business compared to what you spot when you stand away and look in on it are worth the feeling of letting go , its like a littleun going to school on their first day, or away to uni, or getting married , a bit of you dies, but a whole new chapter(s) opens up


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  • Profile picture of the author BRDesign
    a quote from General George S. Patton

    "Don't tell people how to do things, tell them what to do and let them surprise you with their results. "

    I used to work for a micro manager who would actually look over my shoulder as I worked and would question every EVERYTHING that I did. I was a nervous wreck I couldn't concentrate on my job because of all the time I spent justifying my decisions and answering all his pointless questions. There is more than one way of doing things, your way is not the only way, it's the end result that matters.

    BR Design
    Graphic Design and Printing Service

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