You have my permission to micro manage

Founders, repeat after me: “It’s ok to micro manage”.

It’s an odd take given the bad rap micro managing has been given since the start of time. This is mostly because it has been appropriated and then abused for evil.

Micro managing should be used for small adjustments — from the current behaviour to a new, slightly more aligned behaviour. From the way it is currently being done, to a more streamlined/focused/on brand way of doing things. It should never be used to hire someone and then tell them, daily, how to do their job.

As a founder, no one will care more about the company than you. This is a fact. Early employees are the closest thing to founders but they don’t have that last 10% buy-in that made you start your company. You (and you co-founders if you have any) are the stewards of quality for your company. You set the standards, you set the expectations, you set the quality, you set the tone.

When you see something that is not up to your expectations, your responsibility to the company must compel you to speak or lead by example. Show the service level you expect — this doesn’t mean call the behaviour out in public, shame or chastise. Have a private conversation and explain the reasoning and the expected behaviour change.

Do not accept any excuses for less-than-your-expected service levels. I’ve heard it all, the most frustrating is “you are getting what you paid for”. If this is your startup, your business, your livelihood, adjust the behaviour or adjust your team. Do not settle or your business will suffer.

Inject yourself to adjust but remember to then pull yourself out and let people do their jobs.