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Micromanaging, Indecisive, or Weak Bosses, pages 226-231

Part Two: Leadership Tactics, 3. Maneuvers, C. Micromanaging, Indecisive, or Weak Bosses, (pages 226-231)


C. Micromanaging, Indecisive, or Weak Bosses

Just as there are many different types of people in the world, there are different types of bosses. Some good, and some that are not. Some common challenges you can face with your boss are those that are micromanaging, indecisive or weak. A micromanaging boss typically does not trust their subordinates. To overcome that, you need to develop trust. Developing trust involves always giving the micromanager all the information possible and then performing well. What can get in the way is your ego. You must remind yourself that your boss has more experience, and you need to benefit from that knowledge. Additionally, it is your responsibility to build trust with the boss. It is not their job to give trust to you. You need to earn it. After all the information is shared, you must then execute. When executing, perform in a manner that your boss wants you to consistently. Eventually, the trust will be built. “Push them information and perform consistently. Build a relationship with them. Over time, they will give you trust and room to maneuver on your own.” The opposite of a micromanaging boss is an indecisive one. Typically, indecisive bosses are unable to Prioritize and Execute. Indecisive bosses feel everything is a priority and it all needs to get done now. However, in doing so, you spread your resources too thin and efficiency is dramatically reduced. The solution to this is straightforward, create your prioritized list and tactfully present it to your boss. If the boss is still hesitant, agree that everything is a priority, but prioritize to the best of your abilities so that you can best support your boss. The key element is to not insult your boss. Be respectful of their position and reassure them that you are doing your best to support them in moving forward to reach their goals. The last type of boss you might encounter is a weak one. Instead of seeing this as a hindrance, look at it as an opportunity to lead. However, just as in the case with the micromanager or indecisive boss, the weak boss can still have an ego. “So, don’t be offensive or overly aggressive when you start to make things happen. Use soft language and frame things in ways that do not diminish the boss’s ego but actually boosts it.”


I guess I can consider myself lucky that I cannot recall a time when I had a micromanager for a boss. However, I have had my fair share of indecisive and weak bosses. The most difficult part about dealing with both types is how to effectively keep driving towards the mission while at the same time ensuring that they are not offended by your actions. The key, as the author stated, is to overshare information. This accomplishes two things. First, it builds trust. Second, as the boss sees that your intentions are mission bound, they will begin requiring less information allowing you to be able to act more quickly. So, what are you to do when you hurt your boss’s feelings? First, get your ego in check. More chances than not, your ego will get you in trouble. Admit your mistake, take ownership. And then explain what you will do differently so that this does not happen again. Boss’s do not expect you to be perfect. They do expect honesty and a healthy respect for the chain of command.

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© 2019 by Erik Bentzel. 

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