Are Managerial Controls Pulling Down Your Growth

R.G. Srinivasan

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Managing a new and growing business requires a vision far beyond what the average manager can even begin to comprehend or understand. This vision may be the ingredient which separates a leader from a manager.

As the business grows, the top manager or the founder/owners turn control freaks as they believe they need to nurture the business at each step of its infantile existence step lest it falls and fails. They turn perfectionists and involve in every aspect of business believing that they are the best and most capable to run the business. This effectively kills emergence of new leadership, throttling the business growth.

Controls are also camouflaged as systems orientation. Too much control spell the death of dynamic decision making and ultimately blunting the competitive edge and operational efficiencies. Many of the early successes of the new business and a quick death shortly thereafter are an indicator of too many controls killing the initiative and creativity.

So the mentor and guide becomes the problem instead of a problem solver.

What should the owner/ceo do to avoid the the control syndrome?

Check Your Ego

As the CEO or Owner you believe you know best. You also believe because it is your money at stake you have a higher interest and responsibility in protecting your own and stakeholder value. Most owners or ceo’s believe people working for them are not as knowledgeable and involved as you are. Even the smallest of mistakes they make are blown out of proportion as an excuse to step in. In fact your managers may know better how to run your organization than you do.

Business chiefs who cannot let go of the controls often end up stunting their business; Opportunities are lost as too many controls deter any effective decision making and exploitation of dynamic business trends.

Define Your Role

As head of a growing organization you need to define your role and role of all your managers. The owner/ceo needs to help others to be productive and manage better rather than to manage on their own. Once you see how effective your managers are, you could cut back on your involvement in micro management and focus on the broader aspects of growth and development.

Take it Step by Step

Once you decide to be less meddlesome, plan on how you are going to reduce your involvement day by day. This will enable your managers to appreciate your intentions and respond to increased responsibility more positively. It would also help them to find their own footing and get accustomed to taking major decisions.

Trust Your Managers

Trust and empowerment is the surest way to nurture talent. When the manager knows that you trust them to deliver, they would go that extra mile to keep the trust you have reposed on them.

Finally the leader has to realize that unless more leaders are created one cannot grow. You can do only so uch and if you want more you need people who can duplicate your own success. All business growth depends on a vision of creating value for as large a group – include customers, employees, shareholders, promoters, partners, vendors – as possible if you really want to build an organization that would be a future legacy.

R. G. Srinivasan is a managerial professional, Writer and Author. He writes a regular blog on management thoughts with interesting articles, resources, personal experiences and links useful for any manager at


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