What are the Signs of Micromanagement?

During my time in the Marine Corps, I quickly realized that micromanagement was a pervasive aspect of leadership. Regardless of where I was stationed or what I was doing, I constantly observed leaders resorting to micromanagement as their go-to solution for the problems they faced. Upon transitioning to Echelon Front, I found this pattern persisting across various organizations, regardless of their nature or industry.

What is Micromanagement?

Micromanagement is a style of leadership where the leader typically uses excessive control, close supervision, and has a focus on minor details, often at the expense of employee autonomy, creativity, and productivity. The leader is heavily involved in the other person’s work rather than using decentralized command (delegating and empowering others so they have the ability to lead and make decisions at their level).

What are Some Signs I’m Being Micromanaged?

· Your boss frequently questions your abilities or second-guesses your work.
· You are not able to make decisions or take initiative in your role.
· Your boss provides overly detailed instructions for tasks, leaving little room for you to use your judgment or ideas.
· Your decisions are constantly examined before you can execute.

What are Some Signs that You as a Leader Tend to Micromanage?

· You find yourself overly involved in every detail of your team’s work, unable to use decentralized command.
· Your team feels like they cannot make decisions independently due to your constant involvement.
· Your team fails to seek initiative or think outside the box due to how they feel you will respond.
· You constantly find yourself being the easy button (solving every problem for everyone on your team).


Constant micromanagement will lead to a frustrated, unmotivated, and ineffective team. If you are being micromanaged, you need to work on building trust with your boss, excelling at your role, and uncovering the why behind your boss feeling the need to micromanage. If you are a micromanager, learn to let go, train your team so they make decisions without you, and understand if you are always in the weeds, you are missing the big picture and failing to think strategically. Decentralized command is the goal; decentralized command is the end state we should all strive to achieve because teams that operate under decentralized command are typically the most effective.

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