Micro Management vs Macro Management: An Entrepreneurs Dilemma

When it comes to business workflow, task delegation, and attention to detail, an effective leader is going to evenly spread out tasks with clear, concise, and efficient instructions without becoming too involved in the details of how the work is done. On the flip side, an effective leader must also be present without being too vague on expectations, and results. This creates a bit of a dilemma, as you cannot do one without the other and so striking a balance between these two stances can be incredibly difficult. Working with multiple remote teams, multiple startups has been roller coaster ride. I would like to share my point of view on what micro-management and macro-management are, why they create issues, and how entrepreneurs can find success between the two.

What Is Macro and Micro Management?

An entrepreneur that uses macro-management, is someone who sets the desired outcomes, delegates responsibilities, and decides on which projects need to be done. This extends to determining strategy and organizing management procedures, setting business policies, and looking at the bigger picture of the business. The term comes from the Greek word for large and is often defined as a boss that never shows their face in the office but is present during business trips, in meetings with companies and important clients, and steps in when there is an issue that needs to be fixed.

Micro-management, on the other hand, refers to the managing of all of the small details of the business. This type of management often has a negative connotation to it as most managers within this role take on a large amount of control, so much in fact, that all employees are closely monitored, criticized, and feel like they are constantly being looked at. In most cases, this type of management style tells workers how to do the job rather than trusting that they can do the job to an effective degree without specific instruction.

What Are The Problems That Entrepreneurs Run Into With Micro and Macro Management?

In the business world, if you are a micro-manager, you can be seen as a dictator, as controlling, and as someone who is judgmental. Those who work under a boss that is a micro-manager will often feel resentful of the criticism they receive, will feel like their capabilities are not being fully realized, and will often lose motivation for the job. Although most employees do not mind have their work periodically checked over for quality control and feedback, having every little detail criticized is degrading as this type of management focuses on the wrong priorities.

Macro-management falls on the other side of the spectrum, with employees falling complacent within their job because there is a lack of opportunities to develop skill sets. Due to the fact that there is a lack of real involvement by managers who use this management style, problems only get solved when they become a serious issue. Although workers generally like this type of leader better, things like vague instructions, expectations, and lack of praise can completely suck the passion out of the job.

How To Find Success as an Entrepreneur Using These Styles of Management

  • Set Clear Expectations: when you assign a project, confirm what the desired outcome is and ensure that there is a shared vision. If possible, highlight strengths and skills that will help the project or task succeed.
  • Establish Clear Milestones: break down goals into small bite-sized chunks so that you can adjust workflow if results are not satisfactory.
  • Allow for Open Discussion: always encourage the use of discussion to ensure that resources, materials, and direction is clear and precise. Talk about what obstacles may pop up, whether certain parts of a project are appealing, and what details need to be fleshed out.
  • Express Appreciation for Progress: by focusing on what is working well, you reduce stress and anxiousness and increased participation.
  • Clearly Define Scope of Work: a well-intentioned goal will never be met if there are no resources to define and support it.

Although macro-management tends to be more effective in business settings, the real goal is finding the right balance between the two when you are growing up. In so long as your employees are motivated, producing excellent results, and are clear on what is expected of them, micro-managing is not required. However, if you find that goals are not being met and your team is not motivated, step in and provide some clear direction and instruction without criticizing “how” the work is done in a negative way.