Many of the cleaning contractors I work with are micromanagers. When they were small, this was probably necessary. They wanted to know and have a hand in everything going on in their business.

But now that they are bigger, many of them have not changed that much. Even with a large office and custodial staff, they still want to know everything going on and have a hand in all business operations.

Eventually, it catches up with them. For instance:

  • Some end up working seven days a week
  • They are never unplugged
  • The kids forget who they are
  • Exercise is deferred and eating is increased.

Along with this, they lose focus on the big picture: where is the business going, where should it be a year from now, five years from now, etc.

What I tell these folks is that they need to start offloading. They must determine what tasks they should be involved with and which they can let someone else handle. Further, they must ask if some tasks are even necessary, as we will discuss below.

If you are a micromanager, here are six questions you need to ask yourself to help begin offloading your workload:

Is This Necessary? 

One of my clients has a staff meeting every Monday morning and then smaller staff meetings throughout the week. The CEO of this company attends all the meetings.  I encouraged him to prioritize them. The Monday meeting was a must, but many of the smaller weekly meetings did not require his attendance, at least every week. This one step alone freed up a lot of his time.

What would happen if I didn’t do this?  

Micromanaging CEOs often believe they must do everything that comes to their attention. But many things can be handled by others, freeing him or her to focus on more strategic planning. Further, some items may not need to be addressed at all. Ask yourself another question: What if I just left this alone, at least for now? Very often, a situation presents itself.  But in a few days or a few weeks we find it was rectified on its own.

Does this fit my time map? 

CEOs and other top management people must have a time map. A time map allows them to plan their time with a focus on top projects that must be completed that day or that week. It may include time to meet with key customers, strategy sessions with the marketing department, or management training programs. It also includes email correspondence. Time allotment for email must be very carefully monitored.

Which people can I offload work to? 

Often micromanagers don’t even know who on their staff could handle some of their workload. They are so focused on doing everything themselves, the thought of handing a project over to someone else never enters their mind. In such cases, I advise my clients to make a list of the people in their office that can handle certain types of projects or situations without his or her help.

What about my FUDs?  

Lots of CEOs develop Fears, Uncertainty, and Doubts. They have FUDs that a project they handed over to someone else will not be handled correctly or promptly.  Here’s what I have found over the years.

In most all cases, the staffer handling the project does so beautifully. If they do encounter a problem, they can ask someone else in the office for assistance or, if necessary, discuss it with the CEO. But the bottom line is that FUDs are a waste of time. Invariably, whatever it is, it will be taken care of.

Ron Segura helps cleaning contractors grow. He has over 50 years of experience in all segments of the professional cleaning industry including ten years as Manager of Janitorial Operations for Walt Disney Pictures and Television. To contact him, call 650-315-8933..