There are no managers with the same preferences, you’ll find commonalities, but slight differences will always be there, so we’ll focus on the big picture in this article.
While some managers oversee every little thing their team members do, including how they do it ( micromanagement ). Others prefer a more laid-back approach ( macromanagement ), or as in my personal preference, a mix of both depending on my areas of expertise.
It’s a pleasure to macromanage when the situation allows it, and I’m usually adjusting based on the person’s skillset doing the work and trust level.

So, what is macromanagement?

Macromanagement is a hands-off leadership style. Rather than closely overseeing everything their team does, managers who take the macromanagement approach prefer to create a more independent work environment.
They trust that their team can handle their duties independently, without endless feedback sessions; instead, the team members request feedback when they require it.
The attention is more focused on the company’s larger goals than your team’s daily work.
This style is ideal for a team of highly skilled professionals. Still, it will backfire in the scenario where the team member might need a manager willing to give them support as they grow into their role, such as people just starting their career, which isn’t a bad thing, just a mismatch for them this management style.

Macromanagement vs. micromanagement

In absolute terms, macromanagers are essentially the complete opposite of micromanagers.
Micromanagers are likely to set daily expectations, give regular feedback, and hold numerous performance reviews, while macromanagers might fail to hold team members accountable.
Finding a middle ground between these two management styles tends to be ideal at Enlivy.
In short, a macromanager trusts their team, while a micromanager trusts what he sees.

Benefits of macromanagement – Trust & Independent Growth

Team members need to appreciate the freedom they’re granted and achieve their goals without compromising the quality of the work.
Macromanagers trust their workers will get the job done, depending on the task brief or requirements.
I find it critical to know the workers’ capabilities, suggesting learning material, or giving ideas on approaching the problem leads to better results and saves time. It’s essential to do this as early as possible.

Benefits of macromanagement – Creative Thinking

Employees have more space to think through problems and develop unique solutions by encouraging creative thinking. Problem-solving is an essential skill for every professional, making it worthwhile to give employees enough space to figure out things independently.

Benefits of macromanagement – Less external pressure

Having the freedom to focus on self-imposed goals and responsibilities allows employees to go through their duties at their own pace, which can ultimately help them stay focused and productive. Managers will need to make a judgment call to apply pressure on the employees, no matter how talented, skilled and dutiful the person is. That must always align with the company’s bigger picture and C-Level timelines.

Conscientious workers already apply enough pressure on themselves. Giving them the liberty and trust they deserve will lead only to good things.

Disadvantages of macromanagement – Motivation

Self-motivation is a critical element of the human capital of a macromanager; even if intrusive and sometimes annoying, a micromanager is there and keeps the workforce engaged and present.
Having a weekly call as a macromanager is essential; while a micromanager might do by-daily calls, a macromanager should aim for one weekly call.

Final thoughts

While I’m biased, I enjoy macromanagement as a work style, and I’ve practiced it as a freelance & business partner for years; it might not suit everyone.
As I delegate tasks, I trust the person I’m assigning the mission and ensure he knows all the details & expectations, the way it happens, it’s magic, as long as the end product is according to the specifications.
Even when doing projects for my clients, I tend to avoid calls or discussions if we’re not in a critical moment where I, as a developer, must make a long-term decision architecturally, which can backfire in a few weeks, to maybe months.

Robert Rusu

I cannot wait for Enlivy to be out there. In the meantime, I'll occasionally blog about topics I find interesting

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