Micro-Management: Less is More

I would like to share with you some interesting experiences of people I have met. And perhaps you too might find them of use in your daily life. I did. So, let me tell you what I learned recently. Less is more.

Today I’d like to share Fabio’s story. He’s from Argentina and although he lives and works there, he travels for work. And now that he’s doing an international program in IESE he’s travelling a lot more. He works in what began as a startup offering IT services and has grown to a company employing over 20 thousand people worldwide with cloud service. It’s positioned as “low cost” and sells to big companies.


Fabio has a direct sales team of six people and almost forty people depending on them. Their clients are medium and large businesses. Fabio has, for a long time, been making an effort to develop the talent in his team, to help them grow professionally and to foster their motivation. Why?

Because since he started the program, he’s spending more and more time studying and participating in class and less time at work. And…


Now he’s doing less – he’s stopped micro-managing his team – and he’s discovered:

  • His people have “filled” the gap he’s left (quite literally. These were his exact words!)
  • His collaborators have been motivated into proving their worth and ability to do much more than before
  • This development is a result of the challenge each of them is facing in his absence

As you might imagine, it isn’t all plain sailing. One of Fabio’s direct collaborators prefers the “old” system. The one where the “boss” (Fabio) came up with all the ideas, made all the decisions and did all the planning. And above and beyond, assumed the responsibility.

And if Less Is More, What Now?

Now it’s about finding the right balance… and taking the risk of test driving the “hands off” approach – at the right time.

Good luck if this has motivated you give it a go! You won’t be disappointed… Oh, and if you do, then Fabio has multiplied your time too… funny isn’t it?


About Mireia Las Heras

Mireia is an Assistant Professor at IESE Business School where she serves as the Research Director of the International Center for Work and Family. She got her degree on Industrial Engineering at the Polytechnic School of Catalonia, specializing on Industrial Organization, in Barcelona-Spain, and holds an MBA from IESE Business School, and a Doctorate in Business Administration from Boston University.