Let us take a look at a case study which is named as − The Perfectionism of Larry Wells. Larry Wells, a successful businessman and a good negotiator had acquired a major retailer after seeing good business potential in it. Through his excellent managing skills and hard work he could use all his experience of business and start a profitable venture. When the business grew, he employed more and more staff to keep up with the demands at the workplace. However, he had a strictly confidential manner of managing the operations.
Being the manager of the company and the owner of the business, he kept the dealings and numbers close to his chest. His hesitation in sharing details about the business extended to all the managers, even directors of the company. Despite requests from the staff to trust them with decisions and details, he wouldn’t divulge details which he thought only he should be privy to. Because of the lack of autonomy among managers of different departments, there were many areas on which they couldn’t take timely decisions, and had to wait for Larry to give them his attention.
As business was expanding, this process of working made Larry lag behind all his competitors soon. All important decisions were put on hold till he could spare time for it. This method of pulling all the strings himself had ensured high quality of output in the initial stages, however dealing with every situation personally was disastrous time-management.
The clients who had given more business to Larry’s company, after being impressed by the quality of output seen during the company’s initial years, began looking for faster and more efficient service-providers. Ultimately Larry’s company was sold out to another big organization, never realizing the full potential it had in its initial years.
Micro-managing resources is often the most common pitfall that first-time managers fall into. Because the project is new and the experience of managing is also first-time, a new manager feels the pressure of impressing his seniors by delivering excellent output, so that he can justify the management’s decision of promoting him. This approach may appear fine to begin with, when the manager tries to get a first-hand experience of the process and tries to understand its functioning. However, when the work starts to expand and additional efforts are needed to keep the efficiency going, the company will hire more resources to keep up with the demand.
If the manager does not give up his micro-managing nature during this time, he will keep the entire team held up for him to take the final important decisions and steps. He will stall all other processes and departments while inspecting the progress of one department, which will cost the entire team a lot of time.
At this stage, a manager needs to stop micro-managing and allow freedom of functioning and autonomy to his team and trust them to come up with ways to handle any situations that may arise in his absence.