There is tapping on your window, you wake up startled because you were not expecting anyone. After all, you are in your countryside home where you arrived late at night. As you peek at the window you are met by a black beak of colorful bird. You stand there trying to figure out why it is tapping on the window. On checking from outside it dawns on you that the bird is fighting its reflection on the one-way window panes. You try to chasing it away but it keeps coming back. You leave it alone and embark on other activities, to later find the bird collapsed on the ground, having fought itself to the point of exhaustion.
Have you at sometimes been behaving like this bird? Have you reflected on how you have been pecking and tapping on your life and the lives of those around?
You see, looking from the outside you saw that the bird was engaged in a fight with an illusion and with itself. Many at times we engage in such futile fights, unaware of this practice until we step on the outside and gain a different point of view. We do this by;
Engaging in perfectionism, failing to start and complete tasks until everything is perfect.
Failing to improve or upgrade of competencies and skills, through learning in any form available.
Maintaining a stubborn perspective or a practice that can be improved on, most of you have heard the statement “this is how we do things here”.
Imposing your will on others even where they are capable of undertaking decisions.
Failing to delegate and collaborate with other to achieve better outcome effectively and efficiently.
Excessive scrutiny and unnecessary follow up.
Resistance to technology especially where technology frees up time and resource and improves productivity.
This practice of fighting our illusions and ourselves can be referred to as micromanaging. Micromanagement is the intrusion and disruption of people, things and thoughts that is excessive, unwelcome, counterproductive and tedious. The effects of micromanaging are frustration, deterring of progress, poor resource utilization and neglect of high value decisions and tasks.
The birds usually engage in this practice because they see an intruder on the reflection and secondly they are defending their territory thus trying to drive away the intruder. Theodore Roosevelt provided a simple solution in the quote below.
The best executive is the one who has sense enough to pick good men to do what he wants done and self-restraint enough to keep from meddling with them while they do it.
Self-reflection is the first step towards identifying where one falls within the range of micromanagement. Other people have written extensively on micromanagement providing broader knowledge of which I have provided my recommendation for further learning.
Book- My way or the Highway: The Micromanagement Survival Guide by Harry Chambers