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Saturday, August 8, 2009

The Opposite of Micromanagement...Laid-back Management?

What's the opposite of micromanagement? Could it be laid-back management?

If so, is that bad? Is it bad to have a laid-back management style? Well, micromanagement is definitely not good if that's a predominant trait. I think we can all probably agree on that. The same can be said for laid-back management, can't it?

Here's a possible example: one of your people comes to you for guidance on an issue and you say, "well, just do whatever you think is best" or "I'm fine with whatever." Like, micromanagement, it's not good to have that style as a predominant one, either.

Our people want to be led. They're not looking for someone to tell them how to do everything and they're also not looking for a boss who just leaves them to their own devices. They're looking for good, solid leadership that provides the right amount of guidance. Now, that amount is different for every employee and that's why it's important for bosses to ensure that, while they treat everyone fairly, one management style "doesn't fit all". Bosses need to understand each of their direct reports and relate to them in a way that helps each person flourish. It's a tall order, but it can be done.


  1. Sort of fits with this topic...

    When choosing a leader for an organization, is it better to bring in someone from the outside, or pluck someone from within the organization? (I'm thinking BIG leader, not small group leader)

  2. Well, that's a great and ongoing question for organizations.

    The pro for choosing someone from inside is that he or she knows the organization (not just the business, but the people and the history they have). The con is that he or she may not have fresh eyes (perspective) and not challenge the organization the way someone from the inside might (a pro for an outsider).

    You already saw my pro for the outsider. The con for an outsider is knowing the organization (hopefully he or she knows the industry or has experience with that type of organization). If you get someone who insiders don't see as relevant, it can pretty much derail any good they can provide...and this person has to learn all the nuances of the organization and who can be allies and who will probably work to undermine him or her.

    I don't think there is a pat answer here. Anyone or any group in the position of picking a new leader should look at the pros and cons mentioned (as well as any others that come to light).

    Thanks for posing the question.


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