The Micromanagement Debacle

Listen, I am far from what you would call a micromanaging leader. I believe it CAN stifle creativity and stunt a leaders growth. I also believe it is important to empower people and release them to the work they are responsible for. However there are times where I believe it is necessary.

There are many things in life that serve a good purpose but can be perverted. Take a garbage disposal for instance. It’s great to clean up plates but bad for cutting finger nails. You get the drift. Everything in it’s rightful place can be effective and serve a purpose.

Lets consider for a moment who uses this term the most. Most often you hear this as a derogatory term thrown around by an employee.

I’ve found that there are some who throw the term around quite loosely. And those who make such accusations often do it because they have a problem being held accountable and use the accusation of “micromanagement” as an excuse to hide behind their ineffectiveness. (DISCLAIMER: I said OFTEN, not ALWAYS. PLEASE don’t send emails. I’m just trying to play devils advocate on a word that has been tainted. Let’s try to put our thinking caps on and find some good in this thing.)

BUT…stay with me here…and lets look together at a few instances in the Scriptures where “micromanagement” is DIVINE. Yep. I said it. DIVINE!

– God “micromanaged” Adam when he told him specifics on what tree he could eat from. Yes, God did “empower” Adam…but empowerment was coupled with direction and accountability.

– God “micromanaged” the vision of the tabernacle when He told Moses how to build it down to the exact measurements and colors.  So what did Moses do? He found the right people to make the vision come to pass. And Moses “micromanaged” the people down to the minute detail. He never backed down because people started calling him a “micromanager.”

– God “micromanaged” the battle plan when Joshua came up to Jericho. It was crazy but he did it and it worked.

– Nehemiah was a “micromanager” and is now known as one of the most effective leaders in the Bible.  He shared a strong vision and held people to a high standard.

– Jesus was a “micromanager”. Take a look at the Gospels and see how many times He corrected and instructed them.  He didn’t just let them do their own thing. He was specific and directed them with specificity.

– THEN we have the gift Jesus sent which is the ultimate “micromanager”. We call Him the HOLY SPIRIT.  He doesn’t just “empower” us to do stuff. He actually takes up residence inside us to help us get it right.

– Paul was a “micromanager”. He wrote multiple letters to the church about what to do and what not to do. I’m thankful for those letters.

Trust me, I could go on all day but I’m beginning to realize something. Micromanagement in leadership isn’t always a horrible thing. I might just believe that at times it is essential.

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