The Dreaded Micromanager

The problem: Department manager Jane has a statewide reputation as an expert in her field who speaks at conferences and is sought out by others for her professional opinion.  Jane’s professional staff members  respect her knowledge, but find her domineering, meddlesome, and micromanaging.  Turnover is high, and staff members have gone to upper management to complain that their skills are severely underutilized.  Jane, however, feels she has to manage this way because her reputation is at stake – if her staff make mistakes, her reputation will suffer.   

What to do? Jane fears losing control, but  the employer is wasting money by paying professional staff members who are not being allowed to do their jobs.  Jane needs support from a coach or mentor to help her learn to let go of work and delegate to her professional staff, holding them accountable for outcomes rather than steps in the process.  If she is not able or willing to learn a different way of managing, a professional but non-supervisory position may be the answer.  ~DS

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