In part 1 and 2 of this series we collectively looked at the Incompetent, Know it All, Intimidating, and the Unorganized weak leadership styles.
5. The “Micro-Manager” Leader
We all know the Micro-Manager. This is the manager who has to be involved in everything you do. These leaders are very detailed oriented, take ownership, have solid memories and a strong ability to multi-task. What they don’t get is that their success as a manager is dependent on their ability to empower their team – which to me, is a prime.
“Micro-Managers” lead by holding hands, not by: providing concrete direction, empowerment, and making good decisions. This is a leadership style that is purely innate, and nearly impossible for one who possesses these natural traits to change.
Everyone doesn’t dislike the leadership style of the “micro-manager”, but I do. While I appreciate their ability to assist when needed, I thrive on having the ability to take complete ownership of my responsibilities, operating as my own entity within a larger corporation. Working under a “micro-manager” makes that difficult because they have to have their hands in everything; minimizing one’s ability to be creative and sometimes efficient.
The Micro-Manager Antidote
In all honesty, this type of leader doesn’t come jam-packed with negative attributes. To me, they are more annoying than weak. If you are a mediocre performer, then you will consistently face the wrath of their annoyances. Although I’m a high performer, their constant presence is enough to get in my way.
Utilize this leaders strengths and bring them in to help when needed. They are strong multitaskers and don’t mind getting in the weeds to help out. Utilizing them in projects that you have little interest in, or lack some skill to complete on your own can be a win/win situation. They will appreciate your consideration of them, and you’ll get the job well done.
The best advice I can give on handling a micro-manager is to be thorough in your work, decommissioning their ability to nit-pick everything you do. When you get on their good side, they [somewhat] lighten their shadow from above you.
BEWARE: the Micro-Managing leader doesn’t see themselves as a micro-manager – so never make mention of their leadership style in their presence. If you consistently fail at executing tasks, your ability to repair your perception may be impossible. Deep down inside they don’t trust your work, hence they want to be apart of everything you do.
6. The “New” Leader
Or, you can call them rookie leaders. This leader is fresh from college, ready for their professional journey, but with zero experience. A “new” leader will generally walk into their new leadership role in one of three forms: 1- timid and scared to make decisions and will not take charge; 2- overzealous, quick to make decisions (often wrong decisions), and inaccurately confident in their ability lead; 3- (least common) the “learner” who takes caution to their decisions and inquires the input of others, takes the lead by way of incorporating their teams experience, and doesn’t shake things up- immediately.
Regardless of the form a new leader takes, their biggest obstacle is obtaining experience; their biggest inner-push is proving their worth. This has the potential to be destructive or productive depending on their personality.
Rarely is this leader equipped to lead a team. In college, they learn the fundamentals of leadership, but without experience, those fundamentals are null. I liken this to a doctor right out of med school; it’s their ER residency that actually gives them the experience to become a medical practitioner – not the schooling alone.
The “New” Leader Antidote
The “new” leader needs to be mentored; directly or indirectly. Attempt to put them under your wings – helping them with their day to day decision making and tasks. Be settle and discrete in your attempt to be-mentor them. You don’t want to offend, making them fill as if you (and others) see them as unequipped to lead. Simply offer your opinion, indirectly, in ways that make them think. Doing this sets a tone of what they should consider in their decision making…all based on your thought processes.
This is a great opportunity to move forward your own agenda and build the best leadership style for you. The new leader is eager to learn for they know it’s imperative to their success- so your “help” will not only help them reach their goals faster, but it will help you reach your goals faster as well. Give the quick nickel to earn the lone dime.
BEWARE: Although basically powerless at this stage in their career, if a “new” leader senses that your attempts to help them are for your own gain, you can face dire consequences if their power ever grows. Be sincere and reap the benefits of your good will.
Weak leadership is a staple in today’s corporate America. Incompetence and a pattern of poor work ethic have watered down the strength of what leadership should be. Stiff competition has not brought out the best performances in people – rather created monsters of blame, under the bus throwers and weak decision makers.
I have made it my point to not fall into the ruins of the ever so popular weak leaders. I understand their styles, skill-sets, and weaknesses and I’ve learned how to maneuver around these obstacles to create positive outcomes.
Never view a weak leader as a brick wall to your success. View a weak leader as a bridge between yourself and you and successville – all you have to do is get to the other side.
What is your experience with Micro-Managing Leaders and New Leaders? How have you used these styles to your advantage, or how have they been disadvantageous to you?