LEADERSHIP: Balancing Detail & Empowerment.

Are you a micromanager or a distant leader? Your team’s behaviour will tell you.

Leadership Approaches

Micromanaging is an extreme on the leadership spectrum, and any extreme is usually a poor method of leadership. A varied approach between managing the details of the teams work but also allowing their independence to own their role should be sought.


With a Micromanager at the helm, the team will display the following symptoms:

  1. All decisions are run by the manager. 
  2. Decisions are not made by team members to resolve issues. 
  3. Team members do not try to resolve new issues but rather ask the manager to solve. 
  4. Team members do not question the way or why things are done. 
  5. Team members feel stifled and disgruntled.
  6. Team members do not take responsibility for actions.
  7. Good team members leave to find employment elsewhere.
  8. There is a lack of development and progression by team members.  

Distant Leaders

With a Distant Leader at the helm one should watch out for the following symptoms:

  1. Team members are not coordinated and work at cross purposes.
  2. Team members make decisions that should be escalated to the manager. 
  3. Team members begin to work in isolation.
  4. Team members spend too much time disagreeing on how to achieve an outcome and the outcome is missed.
  5. Issues go unnoticed. 
  6. Issues are not escalated to the manager. 
  7. Team members do not know what they should be doing. 
  8. Team members miss deadlines as there are no consequences.

A bit of both

Often micromanagement is the first method a new leader defaults to, and sometimes can be mistaken for creating accountability. Luckily there are a number of symptoms and indicators which one can watch out for to identify being on one extreme. Likewise, there are a number of positives to draw from both sides of the spectrum to identify the right balance for effective team leadership.

An effective leader knows how to strike a balance between being detail-oriented and trusting his/her team. Ensuring that you and your team are working together towards common goals and communicating effectively is vital. In order to improve your own leadership skills, try to seek constructive feedback from your team and show them a genuine commitment to making a meaningful change in your behaviour.

Chay Stockdale

Chay Stockdale

Chay’s focus at Iridium is coaching young graduates on their path to becoming financial professionals. Apart from managing a team at Iridium, Chay focuses on providing a number of key clients the following services: advanced analytics, financial modelling, valuations, deal structuring, coaching and advisory services around their business. He specialises in the following industries: amusements, e-commerce, retail, hospitality, and financial services. Chay is a strong proponent of progressive thinking and enjoys solving difficult challenges. In his spare time, Chay loves to explore and socialise with mates. His favourite cartoon is The Jetsons, as Chay has been fascinated by technology and the future from a young age.