Companies Will Not Be Able To Retain Their Most Talented Human Capital With A Legacy Micro-Management Approach

We’ve never been at a juncture quite like this one in the United States. By that I mean, where we see the ‘collated worker’, where one person can do things it used to take a cluster of different departments and teams to accomplish.

Don’t let anybody tell you that any worker enjoys a narrow scope of work. In the few cases where that might be true, people want to go deep, if they can’t go wide.

So, people like a variety of duties. They like to work to learn, to advance toward mastery. You know – like human beings do.

In the workplace of the future (present), you will pay for culture (liberating your workforce), or you will pay for turnover (people giving you ‘deuces’ and leaving your sweatshop). I promise.

And this means they don’t need you micro-managing them. People go to work for companies, but leave managers. And the number one reason people leave a given manager is they aren’t free.

If you are a manager, CEO, founder, CFO, COO, VP, or other senior executive  at a given company, try giving people an objective and methodological discretion as to how they achieve it. Manage them, in terms of ends and milestones – not the means or manner in which they work.

Not to make blind accusations, but if you are interrupting people, or cordoning their work into a narrow scope; if you are telling them how to do their job: stop getting in their way.

Just give them the keys and get out of the car, as I discussed above with the clients that I take on. I guarantee they will be happier and deliver more and better work, and you will be less stressed out.

I help companies sell products and develop lead funnels to sell products.

It’s very difficult to sell a product if a company is micro-managed and miserable. Why? Because workplace culture, brand, and product are indistinguishable these days – they’re all transparent. Moreover, miserable engineers and product designers don’t innovate.

If you have a broken or toxic workplace, and products developed by miserable and micro-managed people, it’s harder for guys like me to market your products. You cannot polish a turd. And in this context, the turd isn’t just your product, it’s where that product comes from: your workplace culture.

Too many people believe that if they don’t micro-manage their employees – they’ll do less work. And that’s true, some will. But the ones you keep will do more work, and better work. Eventually, all you have is those people.

Without your pointless meetings and interruptions, your check-ins and ‘performance management’, your superstars can do three or four times the amount of work, with double the quality. It’s basically human psychology. People like custodianship, they like trust and the freedom to fail. Tools, space, trust.

How do you implement this? You have an ‘all hands’ meeting, explain what you’re doing, what you expect. You give it a time – you’ll have some managers who can’t let go as masters, and some employees who can’t let go, as servants.

Fire them all. But be nice about it.

Zackery West is a marketing and business consultant, and CEO of FlashPointLabs, and author of upcoming books (2019) The Paleo Workplace and Dopamine Marketing. email:, Twitter: @PaleoEngineer.

Categories: Uncategorized