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When to Micromanage and The Boss Wants all the Credit, pages 231-237

Updated: Jan 7

Part Two: Leadership Tactics, 3. Maneuvers, D. When to Micromanage. E. The Boss Wants All the Credit, (pages 231-237)


D. When to Micromanage

Ideally, Decentralized Command is the preferred method for effective leadership. However, sometimes decentralized command and hands-off leadership do not work. This is when micromanagement can be implemented. “While micromanagement is not the first option. Before taking that intense level of direct oversight, normal leadership procedures should take place.” These include making expectations crystal clear and providing examples. If these are not effective, micromanagement needs to be implemented. As the leader, show what needs to be done and then closely monitor to ensure they are doing what is expected of them. “Follow up with them. Check-in with them. Micromanage them.” If they produce positive results, back off slightly. As success continues, continue to back off even more. If failures begin to occur, increase your micromanagement to produce success and then return to backing off. Occasionally, even with micromanagement, individuals or teams do not produce successful results. “Obviously, micromanagement is not a permanent solution; leaders cannot place all their focus on one individual or one team for an extended period; there are other teams, other issues that need their attention as well.” When this is the case, the individual or team needs to be informed that if they do not start to succeed, they will be terminated.

I would imagine if you brought up the practice of micromanagement to a leader, you would almost always get a reply that frowns upon it. I have always viewed it as a negative and something that was done to me. I did not see it as a leadership tool, that when implemented properly, can get positive results. The key for me is that micromanagement needs to be viewed as a temporary fix. A sort of “break glass in case of emergency” situation. The leader needs to always remember their responsibility is to be looking up and out and not down. While the leader can use micromanagement, causing them to look down, if they do it for too long, they and their team will get lost and lose sight of the mission.


E. The Boss Wants All the Credit

What is the course of action when the boss always wants to take the credit? You let them. Why? Because they are the boss. If you ask for the credit, it won’t work. “Asking for credit is a horrible move to make in any scenario.” The key is to keep your ego in check and remember to play the long game. The long game refers to supporting your boss and letting them have the credit. This will build a trusting relationship. Eventually, with success, the boss will get promoted. They will then look to those who have supported them to take their place. That would then be you. “Remember, this promotion isn't for your own self-gain but for the team; once you take the boss’s position, you can lead the team and execute the mission in the best way possible.” The long game requires patience. Keeping your ego in check and not taking credit for successes will only go towards others viewing you as humble. “Your humility and leadership will be rewarded in the long run”

I have worked for a few bosses that always took the credit. While it was sometimes infuriating, I found that if you kept your mouth closed, mind open, and continued to produce, eventually the bosses boss would take notice. While I was a part-time salesperson at a Footlocker shoe store, we were experiencing incredible sales and far exceeding our goals and the store manager was quick to take the credit. This occurred for some time until the general manager came to audit the store. He found that it was the full and part-time salespeople that had created this growth. The store manager and general manager then went to lunch. Upon returning, the store manager had a different attitude and heaped praise upon us. I must say, that was a just and satisfying moment.

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