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Avoiding Micromanagement

Paula Leach

4 April 2024

Paula Leach is a leadership expert on a mission to create thriving human workplaces by building greater mastery in leading people. In this latest blog, Paula talks about micromanagement and tips on how to avoid it.


Micromanagement, that ever-loathed nemesis of effective leadership, not only wears down leaders but also dampens the spirit of the team. It’s a drain on energy and enthusiasm, comprising of excessive control of the smallest details of a team or individual.

The tendency to micromanage often springs from a deep-seated fear of losing control, yet it’s this very control that stifles the creativity and drive of the team. The result? Increased turnover and absenteeism, as team members disengage from the shared goal.

As a leader, the fundamental role that we have is to determine our destination (shared endeavour – what we are ‘up to’ as a team), agreeing what ‘good’ looks like (our standards) and creating the conditions for everyone to bring their skills, capabilities and creativity to the cause.

In the tapestry of leadership styles, we find ourselves weaving between the threads of “Push” and “Magnetic” leadership. While Push leadership exerts control, Magnetic leadership inspires collaboration, accountability, and forward momentum.

To cultivate Magnetic leadership and sidestep the pitfalls of micromanagement, leaders can take deliberate steps:

  • Craft a compelling vision: Share the team’s aspirations and the reasons behind them, igniting passion and purpose. A clear vision serves as a guiding light, illuminating the path forward and uniting team members in a common goal.
  • Clarify expectations: Define quality standards and client experiences, ensuring everyone knows what excellence looks like. By articulating expectations clearly, leaders empower team members to make informed decisions and take ownership of their work.
  • Cultivate a culture of learning: Provide opportunities for feedback and growth, allowing mistakes to be valuable lessons rather than sources of blame. In a learning-oriented environment, team members feel encouraged to experiment, innovate, and continuously improve.
  • Nurture ownership: Help team members understand the “why” behind their tasks, fostering a sense of pride and responsibility. When individuals see the purpose behind their work, they’re more likely to approach it with dedication and enthusiasm.
  • Lead with curiosity, not judgement: Approach performance issues with a genuine desire to understand, offering guidance and support rather than criticism. Curiosity opens the door to dialogue and growth, while judgment closes it off, stifling communication and progress.

Leaders must confront their own inclinations toward micromanagement, recognising that such tendencies often stem from insecurities or a need for control. Honest conversations and consistent communication can bridge the gap, fostering trust and collaboration.

In the end, relinquishing control paradoxically leads to greater influence and autonomy. By embracing Magnetic leadership principles, leaders unlock the full potential of their teams, creating an environment ripe for innovation, growth, and shared success.


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Paula Leach


Paula Leach is on a mission to create thriving human workplaces by building greater mastery in leading people.

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