In Praise of Micro-Managers
Apple has been without Steve Jobs for one year now, and it has become clear that what the company misses most is not Jobs’s innovative thinking, but his micro-management.
Apple (AAPL) is still producing such great innovations as the iPhone 5, but the executions are no longer flawless. Many believe that mistakes like the poor Apple Maps app would never have happened on Jobs’s watch, because he was an incessant micro-manager who paid close attention to details.
Few corporate executives aspire to be micro-managers. Management gurus condemn them. The ideal executive today is supposed to be a great delegator and motivator, not someone who tries to tell others how to do their jobs. Yet the fact is, micro-managers often get better results.
Oracle’s (ORCL) Larry Ellison, Microsoft’s (MSFT) Bill Gates, and Amazon’s (AMZN) Jeff Bezos all micro-managed, and their companies all delivered phenomenal growth and innovation under their watch.
Most companies have great innovation ideas. But what separates the winners from the losers is not their ideas, but their ability to execute. Great innovations are often delayed and watered down by cross-functional teams that have disparate motivations. A CEO who is a micro-manager has the ability to cut through roadblocks and force uncooperative team members to take on audacious challenges that drive value. Jobs was famous for pushing his engineers past the bounds of what most considered reasonable—and getting great results from it.
A good micro-manager has the ability to ensure his or her team stays focused on the customer and delivers an experience that delights, without flaws…
If you are serious about results, micro-management is a big advantage. The key to being a great micro-manager is to be selective. If you micro-manage too much or create unwieldy approval processes, you create unproductive bottlenecks. Successful micro-managers insert themselves into mission-critical, customer-facing aspects of the business… Click Here to Read More