How to Work for a Macromanager

This post was recently
published on
SmartBlog on
Leadership

No one wants to work for a
micromanager
. Micromanagers are control freaks, always breathing down their
employee’s, telling them how to do everything and inspecting every move they
make.

Working for a micromanaging boss is one
of the most frequently reported reasons employees hate their jobs
 or hate
their bosses
.

Employees that work for micromanagers probably wish their
bosses would just disappear. They dream about what it would be like to go
totally boss-less, going about their work in a state of empowered nirvana.

Well, be careful what you wish for! The grass always looks
greener on the other side of the fence.

While a micromanager anchors the extreme end of the
management style continuum (high control), sitting at the far other end of the
continuum is the macromanager
(laissez-faire).

Working for a macromanager has its own set of challenges. A
micromanager is always there when you don’t need them to be there; a
macromanager is never around when you
do have a question, need support, or need to get a decision made. They have a
laissez-faire style of management that assumes all employees are completely
competent self-licking ice cream cones, needing no support, feedback,
recognition, coaching, or direction.

A macromanagement style may be appropriate when managing
employees that are self-starters, experienced, high performing, and
self-motivated, but even these employees need a little attention now and then.
Where they really get themselves into trouble is when they try to apply their
hands-off management approach to brand new employees that need more initial
direction and support, or even worse, to underperforming employees that need a
strong kick in the behind.

So are you lucky or unlucky enough to work for a
micromanager? I have been. If you are, here are a few tips:

1. Set up monthly
meetings.
  While your macromanager
may initially resist this intrusion on their busy schedule, insist on it and
take the initiative to schedule them yourself. Explain to the macromanager how
it is for their own benefit to stay informed on what you’re doing in case their
own micromanager boss asks them for details.
2. Send regular email
updates.
Keep them high level and brief. Develop a few important metrics
for your area of responsibility and report on those. Be sure to make your
manager aware of key accomplishments and give them a heads up of any potential
problems that they may end up hearing about.
3. Establish
measurable goals and manage to them.
Create your own goals and development
plan, and establish follow-though mechanisms to keep yourself on track.
4. Take care of
yourself and your team.
Celebrate your own success and the success of your
team. Seek feedback from trusted mentors, peers, your employees, and others.
Hire
a coach
if you can.
5. Keep an eye on the
big picture.
Don’t get myopic and lose sight of your organizations broader
mission and goals. Without a manager to provide this perspective, you’ll have
to look for other sources to stay abreast.
6. Learn to manage
your peers.
Given that macromanagers are never around to confront
underperformers, you’ll need to have these
crucial
conversations
yourself. You’ll also want to provide support and recognition
to your peers, and when you do, you’ll receive the same in return.
7. Have realistic
expectations and accept what is.
Don’t get all frustrated that your manager
doesn’t give you regular feedback, recognition, or respond to your emails.
Learn to look for and appreciate the strengths that your manager does bring to
the table, and don’t expect pigs to fly.
 Last but not least, count
your blessings that you don’t work for a micromanager!