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Tag Archives: perfectionism

Productivity tools for leaders

Brand-new video series for 2020

I’m so excited to kick-off another brand-new video series for 2020.  For the last few years, I’ve focused on a different subject each year.  Last year the topic was “How to develop and grow your people” – we did 25 videos.  And in 2018, we put out 33 specific tips on how to motivate your employees.  So this year, I’m going to focus on … drum roll please … Productivity tools for leaders.

In my leadership training and mentoring practice, a frequent refrain I hear from my clients is that they start their days with the best of intentions only to get to the end feeling like they’ve gotten nothing substantial accomplished.  So you tell me.  Have you ever felt that a full day has gone by, yet time seems to have escaped you?  Or that instead of checking things off your to-do list, it seems to be longer than it was at the beginning of the day?  If so, then I think that this year’s video series is tailor-made for you. Continue reading

Are you guilty of being a micro-manager? Stop before it’s too late!


Ask the countless employees who find themselves working for a micro-manager, and they’ll tell you that it is not only maddening, but wearisome and demoralizing. Dealing with a controlling boss who needs to question and redo everything you do can be gruelling. But if you look carefully enough, the signs of a micro-manager are clearly visible. You just may not have paid attention.  Which is exactly why I not only explore this topic in depth in my column this morning in The Globe and Mail, but also offer four ideas to stop being a micro-manager.  Read it here:

Guilty of micromanaging? Stop before it’s too late

Don’t fall into the classic micro-manager trap

If you’re a micro-manager, it’s very easy to explain away your actions as “attention to detail” and “ensuring quality work.” But the unfortunate reality is that this behaviour comes at an immense cost – employee morale, team performance and workplace productivity.  It’s time to stop!

Well … what do you think?  Are you one of those who has been at the receiving end of a micro-manager, or is there a case to be made for this management characteristic?  Obviously, you know where I stand on this subject, but I’d love to hear from you.  The Globe has temporarily turned off commenting on articles on their website while they resolve some technology issues, so you can’t comment directly there.  But share your thoughts right here on the blog.  Leave a comment below and let everyone know your thoughts and experiences.

Sometimes, The Globe puts my columns behind their paywall. If that happens and you are unable to access the article directly through the link above, we have archived a pdf version at this link:

One strategy to avoid micro-managing

Micromanaging word breaking apart on chain links to illustrate sI often blog about the perils of micro-managing, most recently Perfectionists are micro-managers (and lousy leaders) and Here’s what micro-managers shouldn’t do.  Today, I thought I’d offer up another proven idea to avoid the trap of micro-managing – participate, at least to some degree, in the training of your employees.  Think about it, the necessity to micro-manage is rooted in the need for control.  And control, not necessarily in a negative way, is because you want to make sure that things are done right and to the standards that you and others expect.  So if you involve yourself, at least partially, in training your employees, then you can be confident, first-hand, that they know what needs to be done.  This knowledge will allow you to trust that your staff are ready to take charge of things on their own.

Now let’s be clear here, the outcome of “training” is not that your employee will do things EXACTLY the way you do it!  Yes, I am well aware that you like to format your spreadsheet using font size 12 and prefer your totals to show currency signs.  But these details do not affect the outcome of the deliverable you are expecting from your employee.  Continue reading

Here’s what micro-managers shouldn’t do!

Micromanaging word breaking apart on chain links to illustrate sEarlier this week, in my blog post titled Perfectionists are micro-managers (and lousy leaders), I offered up a couple of ideas on what micro-managers could do to cease and desist, and thus build a better working relationship with their teams. In today’s post I thought I’d add a couple of ideas along the same theme, but this time on what not to do. Continue reading

Perfectionists are micro-managers (and lousy leaders)

Perfection is Roadblock to Progress Road Barricade SignAre you a perfectionist? If so, you’re probably proud of it; you likely wear your perfectionism as a badge of honour. But don’t. In Why perfectionism is NOT a good thing!, I’ve laid out five reasons why perfectionism is not a plus. But there’s another even more important reason to let go of perfectionism – because it also makes you a micro-manager. And (trust me on this!), micro-managers are lousy leaders. They’re hard to work with, and most people find ways to work around micro-managers and perfectionists than to work with them! If you are “guilty as charged” (and willing to admit it), then here are a couple of ideas on how to stop micro-managing, and build a better working relationship with your people. Continue reading

Why perfectionism is NOT a good thing!

The most popular business books of the last two decades all advocate workplace excellence and organizational achievement.  No quarrel there.  But this constant emphasis on being “the best” causes many to think that perfection is the ultimate goal.  After all, perfectionism is positive, right?  It’s synonymous with being an over-achiever; the kind of person who sets bold goals and blazes new trails to momentous achievements.  But the unvarnished truth is that in the workplace, there are more downsides to perfectionism than there are benefits.

In this month’s issue of CGA Magazine, I lay out five reasons perfectionism is NOT a plus,  AND if you happen to be “guilty as charged”, five specific things that you can do to break the pattern.  Read Perfectionism is Not a Plus: The business case for 80 per cent resultsAnd once you’re done, c’mon back and share your views about perfectionism right here on the blog.