We’ve all worked in a job where a manager decides to be more “hands-on”… read “micromanagement”. We know what it feels like from the micromanaged side, but we the manager probably believes she/he is doing what’s best for the department, the project, the company, etc.
A recent HBR article puts the effects of hands-on management into a category that business leaders can understand: hands-on management hurts the bottom line. Period. (see “A Survey of How 1,000 CEOs Spend Their Day Reveals What Makes Leaders Successful” in HBR and “Scientists Studied the Daily Lives of 1,000 CEOs. Here’s the 1 Thing The Successful Ones Did” in Inc)
The author writes:
In new research, we use survey data from over 1,000 CEOs across six countries and the financial performance of their companies to explore these questions. And our evidence suggests that hands-on managerial CEOs are, on average, less effective than leaders who stay more high-level.
Here’s the thing… for many managers, a hands-off approach is counter-intuitive. If the manager is responsible for the results, then “it makes sense” that the manager keep everything under her/his control. But, as the article points out, this type of management actually produces worse results. Worse financial results. A worse bottom line. Now that should get some people thinking.
But, changing from a hands-on type of management to a hands-off type of management is not as simple as flipping a switch. It takes…
Humility. Can you give up control for the greater good?
Trust. Can you trust that your staff can do their job better than you can do everyone’s job?
Example. Are you willing to lead by example by carrying out your responsibilities to the best of your ability?
Communication. That’s right… you know need to communicate effectively more than ever.
And the list goes on and on…
What else is required for a hands-on manager to shift to a hands-off type of leadership style?