• Stephan Busch

Do not underestimate the real power of Micromanagement! Servant Leadership is a fairy tale!


Servant Leadership is a well discussed topic you can read a lot about. In fact it is a wonderful way to successfully lead without nourishing ulcers in your employees stomach. So why do I still run into so many Micro – thus - bad Managers? Why is this tolerated – and even valued - by Company boards, owners and Management companies? Are they getting a percentage from the pharmaceutical and hospital industry that have to treat their victims? Do they love panic?

Servant Leadership is a fairy tale

The problem might be that besides agreeing with the philosophy of servant leader ship many managers read and enjoy the description and examples of servant leadership like a fairy-tale. Nice colourful Unicorns that have nothing to do with their real lives.

Some even post about their “Servant Leadership” examples when they served the food at the annual company party. Believing this is Servant Leadership makes me believe in Unicorns. They can’t even imagine that Servant Leadership is a philosophy, a life they could also live and a service they could provide for their staff – and believe it or not – for the benefit of their guests and customers and – at the end for themselves. . Of course they don’t have as much time as the Servant leaders to read and understand because they are busy micro managing. And who believes in Unicorns anyway? But what a nice, warm read! Its too much to comprehend for them.

The Leadership of many companies also consist of a lot of Micro Managers who are so far on top that it doesn’t hurt the operation anymore ( or it does – but they know exactly who to blame down the line). But its still nice to read about this cute Unicorns.

Servant Leaders are lazy!

I have experienced some great servant leaders. They had it under control with ease. Profits were great, staff motivated and smiling from within, guests happy and returning. They made it look easy! Which is an Art in Hotel business and a service only they can provide for our guest and staff. Sounds really like a fairy tale – but it exist.

Micromanagement succeeds

But there are those under or above them who can only micro manage ( those – lets be honest – incompetent ones) who spread the rumours – the word – that these people are actually lazy. What are they doing? Talking to guest, talking to staff but not really working. Are they nervous, stressed, shouting instructions? No! Just managing something running well. That’s easy! How lazy! That these were the ones that actually could talk with guests and staff because they managed so well, served and empowered their staff so everything ran smooth is beyond the understanding of the Micro Managers. But these negative incompetent ones manage often to talk them into such a bad light that Micromanagement succeeds.

In many work environments the Micromanagers are in the majority. On top of you beside you and everywhere you look. Someone who does not behave as incompetent, demotivating as the Micromanager does is - of course - seen as a danger. They will fight it. This companies will see Servant Leaders only for a short time. Servant Leaders do not need them.

Micromanager you find on every level in every organisation. Some you can heal, some you can help, some are lost. Servant Leaders do not underestimate their negative influence - thus power. Servant leaders do not waste energy on healing and helping them. They concentrate on the ones that are a positive influence, who deserve to develop and advance. But you can’t ignore Micromanagers. They also bring up young ones and they will be always a damaging factor to an organisation and also for themselves.

Universal law of Stupidity

The Universal law of stupidity by Prof. Cipolla first published in 1976 explains also a lot about Micromanagers. You might not want to mention that as it might apply to your boss too. But it is helping to understand the Micro Managers.

Hope for the next Generation

A lot has been written about the next Generations. About their demands , attitude and wishes. Negative and positive are in the balance but I have the impression that they grow up with a greater respect for the environment and the wish to do better as well as demanding accountability from others and themselves. This gives me hope that as long as we support and believe in them we will have changes for the better.


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© 2017 by Stephan Busch