Inspirational Leadership Vs. Micro-Management

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A micro-manager may not even be aware that he is one.  Consider an example from the movies: did you watch Star Wars episode III, the Revenge of the Sith?  I know it sounds crazy, but think about Obi Wan and Anakin.  Obi struggled with Anakin and was often in the top-left quadrant of this Slideshare example.  Notice, the leader in this quadrant finds himself in a low inspiration and high micro-management state.   To move to the bottom right quadrant the individual must, redefine their purpose and role.

This takes us to one of the most critical aspects of tremendous leadership.  A leader must have an exceptional internal compass for himself to know where he is taking people.  Commonly, when stress or challenge invade a leaders space, they will rush to micro-management because it creates the illusion of productivity, when in fact it is counterproductive.

A micro-manager may believe that their way is the best way or that control is actually something they can possess.  In fact, it is quite the opposite.  An exceptional leader is able to find the best in their people and unleash their potential.

The folks at Hogan would say that a leader that has derailed moves quickly to this Micro-Manager Quadrant.  A leader that has derailed will typically act out in one of three ways:  Move against people, move away from people or move toward people.

  • Those that move against are pretty easy to spot.  They may act impulsively, say inappropriate things or send those lashing texts or emails.
  • Those that move away simply withdraw.  They carefully plot the moments, which they can engage because they wish to avoid the stressful experience.
  • Those that move toward people want everything to be exact and perfect.

So how do you become an inspiration for your people?

  1. The first critical step is to understand how you respond under stressful circumstances.
  2.  The second critical step is to know your purpose.
  3. The third critical step is to help your team or people know theirs and help them get there.

You will know you are not there when you find yourself coming at people or moving away from people.  Controlling behaviors or anxious behaviors will only weaken yourself and your team.

Remember, we act like micro-managers when we are afraid or feel that we are about to lose something.  Obi-Wan wanted to be sure that young Anakin was indeed the chosen one.  He may have felt over-responsible for his apprentice and his development.

Maintaining inspirational leadership is challenging, yet it will create tremendous Results.