How to Deal with Managers That Can't Delegate?

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How to Deal with Managers That Can't Delegate?
Juan Ignacio Recabeitia, Consultant, Argentina

Management by exception has many benefits. But a number of managers donīt do it and also donīt understand if their subordinates apply this technique.
How to deal with seniors managers that deal wilth all matters themselves and are unable to delegate?

People that Cannot Delegate are Micro Managers
Olive C. Paraiso, Business School Marketer, Philippines
Managers that cannot delegate are sensible leaders if they are on a learning curve. They are called micro-managers. They are also the type who know how to evaluate subordinates objectively. The first type of manager mentioned is a corporate asset who is willing to roll-up his sleeves and do dirty job.
The second type (macro-managers) is someone who is a popular manager who thought of public opinion as more important in his staying power in the company. Managers who delegate everything are those that embrace the traditional management school of thought.
Among these 2 types of manager, it is always the micro-manager that is preferred by business owners.
The macro-manager however is the one that is always backed up by laborers.
As to the reason why? I can continue on giving my analysis why.

Micro Managers
Juan Ignacio Recabeitia, Consultant, Argentina
I recognize that I'm and prefer to be a macro-manager because I think that micromanagers don't do a real job of managing, what in my view is to help grow his/her people and to have a broader view to guide them.
But also I agree that a number of business owners prefer the micro ones and tend to see the macros as lazy...

Micro and Macro Managers
Olive C. Paraiso, Business School Marketer, Philippines
There is no question about your choice to be a macro-manager because it boils down to what you think is more appropriate.
I was just trying to stress a point that being a micro-manager gives you an advantage: details and the run around of your corporate landscape arm you with ammo to counter any twisted logic by a faulty subordinate.
The pitfall of a macro manager is his dependency trap and resulting insecurity and therefore not being able to correctly address issues at hand as his information is limited to the macro level.
Just like how you choose to be a macro manager, you wouldn't want to be called lazy, I suppose?

Macro Managers Need to Develop Trust
Juan Ignacio Recabeitia, Consultant, Argentina
I really believe that the most difficult aspect of the manager's work is the fact that he or she must rely on his/her subordinates. That implies the need of develop trust and a share vision, but it is the only way a manager can use the specific knowledge of his subordinates, a knowledge that he/she never will be able to have.
Managers should do management work, not the work his/her subordinates are supposed to to.

Macromanagers Being Afraid to Delegate To Their Younger Subordinates
Prof. Alkis S. Magdalinos, Business Consultant, Greece
You are quite right Juan Ignacio.
Another aspect of this issue is with managers who are afraid of their younger and sometimes better educated subordinates and do not assign enough delegation, because they think that one day they will be replaced by them!
A very difficullt issue since it results in a slowdown of business. It would be interesting to hear some ideas from other members of this forum as to what you might do to resolve this problem.

MBE is not the Same as Delegation, Coaching or Mentoring
Eric Schmitz, Other, Belgium
The description of MBE as mentioned in 12m: "(MBE) is a management style, policy or philosophy wherein managers intervene only when their employees fail to meet their performance standards or when things go wrong. If the personnel are performing as expected, the manager will take no action. Time and effort should not be wasted focusing on employees or parts of the organization where things are going smoothly."
1. So, MBE is the same as: do not give attention to employees who are doing a good job?
2. So, MBE is not interested in the process to get results but only in the results (no action if the performance standards are reached).
3. And so on...
I believe that every employee needs coaching and/or mentoring throughout his complete career. I also believe that good performing employees need the same (of more) attention as bad performing employees.
My question concerning MBE: is mbe as philosophy not to weak to support the growth and learning of employees?

Management by Exception
Olive C. Paraiso, Business School Marketer, Philippines
@Eric Schmitz : My argument about having to be a micro-manager did not undermine delegation. I was stressing that during his learning curve, he need to get his feet wet so that, he has knowledge of how the company operates and therefore he cannot be cowed by subordinates.
I also agree with Eric on his view about having to treat performing and non -performing staff on equal level. Those who are not doing well should be coached while those who are doing well should be reinforced. A tap on a shoulder to let him feel he did well matters a lot as a motivation or small recognition.
The bottom line in micro-managing is knowing people who need help and identifying those who have potential to become managers.
If and when your concept of micromanaging is to disable others to grow, you are already overlapping the boundary of corporate politics. This is in effect hiring an ill-equiped manager and he should not have been hired in the first place.

Micro versus Macromanagement
Juan Ignacio Recabeitia, Consultant, Argentina
@Olive C. Paraiso: of course, the balance between delegation and close supervision should be adjusting at the subordinate's capabilities (learning curve). One of the important issues of the manager duties is to help subordinates to growth, improving their capabilities. But at a certain point, to continue the growth, the manager needs to step aside.
I see micro and macro management as two different philosophies.

Management by Exception Emphasizes Delegation in Management
Francesco Cuoco, CEO, Italy
MBE is outlining very much the management as the art of delegation. It is quite important to motivate people and provides confidence to the employee that the management is there for you.


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