The Micromanager — Decision Puzzle 06

Soyer 2022

This is based on real events. There may be various solutions. What would be yours?

You work for a mid-sized company and report directly to the owner. When you entered the company about 2 years ago, you had high hopes. You had the impression that you were in a position to take initiatives, help grow the business, and also improve yourself in the process.

However, things didn’t go as expected due to a specific issue: The owner keeps micromanaging almost all processes. Large or small, all decisions have to go through him. He constantly expects solutions from employees and often says that he is willing to give more autonomy. But when the decisions are being made, he ends up interfering with all the aspects, trying to control the whole process.

Such micromanagement is hurting the company’s performance. In time, it has reduced you and other employees to mere “operators” that don’t take initiative and don’t really care about their jobs.

Once a year you have a talk with him in depth about long-term business strategy and operations. You’re meeting later today. On the one hand, you don’t want to work for a micromanager, and on the other, you love your work. This could be the best job in the world with a different boss.

How would you approach this problem during your meeting with him? What would be a wise decision?



behavioral scientist, co-author of The Myth of Experience

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