are you a media sales micromanager?

Do you keep your eye on every single solitary ball no matter who’s at bat?
Manager William J. Clymer, Buffalo, International League (baseball), 1913. Bain Collection, Library of Congress.

There is no question about who is in charge here. You have the title and you have the power. You have made it clear that you have risen to your position in the media sales world through hard work.

So why can’t you get those who answer to you to work as hard as you, to overachieve, to do everything you want them to? You get so frustrated because you have to keep on top of everything, and no one can do it all as well as you can. You just wish you could be cloned.

If you are nodding your head as you read this, YOU may be a micromanager <insert high screechy horror movie sound effects here>.

“Not me!” You exclaim emphatically! “I am not a micromanager! I just want things to be done and done right! My people don’t share my work ethic or have the knowledge and ability that I have. I want to know what is going on – every second – so I can HELP them!”

While self-analysis is often hard because it is difficult to see yourself as others see you, take a minute to do a little evaluation of your work style. What makes a micromanager? As you read this, try hard not to think, “Yeah, but…”

There are, or course, exceptions to everything. But if you can be aware enough to see yourself here most of the time, and to understand how this modus operandi affects your sellers, you can be aware enough to change your behavior as a manager in media sales.

  • The devil is in the details. By this I mean that you have to know everything about everything. Great managers don’t get bogged down with details, because they just want and need a high-level view. They are comfortable that the details are being handled, and trust that the information they are getting in an overview is adequate for them to be informed and make high-level decisions based on that information. Use your CRM system to see things from the top so that you don’t get mired in the depths.
  • They aren’t doing it your way. You do delegate, but then feel the need to “fix” the outcome, because you know there is a better way. It seems to you that no one can do anything right. By the way, it seems to your staff that you will change it anyway, so why bother putting too much effort into it.
  • You are too busy. See above. You are over-extended, because you have to know every detail, and maintain control even over tasks you have delegated. If you find you have too many emails, arrive at the office early in the morning to catch up on emails, and/or are re-doing what you have delegated at night after your family is in bed, you need to let go.
  • You continually check up on people who aren’t living up to your expectations – which, by the way, is pretty much everybody over the course of time. They are using their CRM system to be accountable, but are they where they say they are? You wonder if they really did talk to that prospect. You have them copy you on emails — not for communication, but so you can see what was said in the thread and tell the sender how they can make that email better. That adds a lot to your workload, and shows you don’t trust your people.
  • You have been told you are a micromanager. It might have been in the heat of someone throwing up their arms and resigning, or a well-meaning mentor might have mentioned it. But chances are this isn’t the first time this has come up.

If you have tried really hard not to say, “Yeah I do that, but…” as you read this and you do find that aspects of it hit home – maybe you do just a little micromanaging. Like all of those self-help programs say, acknowledgement of the problem is the first step in doing something about it. In my next blog I will give you some tips about how you can start working on losing the label.

By Kitty Malone, Efficio Solutions Manager of Client Services

Interested in reading more about the interaction between sales managers and their teams?

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