Have you ever ridden a car with someone else? Especially when you and the driver both know where to go, and you\u2019re in the passenger seat? (Teaching your kids to drive doesn\u2019t count).\nWere you tempted to point out every possible collision with a warning \u2013 \u201cwatch out!\u201d\nIf the driver took a route you hadn\u2019t planned, did you suggest what route to take? Even though you know the other route might also take you to the same destination? Or did you let the drive take the other route that he\/she is comfortable with?\nThe other day I had a somewhat similar experience. I had shown my son a route to go to his new college, what I thought was the best possible route for a relatively new driver.\nAfter a few months, I had to ride with him again to his college. And to my surprise, he took a different route than I had suggested when he was getting familiar.\nI was about to scream, \u201cNo, take the other road.\u201d\nBut I waited; I kept watching as he drove through the roads that I didn\u2019t know even.\nI was surprised to find that this new route was even better than my suggested route!\nThat day, I learned two things:\n\nHow to keep quiet when your mind is about to come up with suggestions.\nHow not to micromanage, and how to be a leader who learns.\n\nAt work also we encounter somewhat similar situations. In the business intelligence and analytics space, I work with lots of young millennials. They are smart and innovative. I always get tempted to suggest doing tasks in certain ways, using certain technology or tools.\nBut as soon as I get tempted with such an urge, I control myself. I wait and watch.\nAnd then I get amazed by what gets accomplished without that intervention! I learn new ways, new technology, and new tools. The team gets inspired in three ways:\n\nThey got their way to accomplish the tasks\nThey take pride, and right to brag and teach the management on the something new and different\nThe most important thing is the team gets encouraged to think outside the box and find creative ways to accomplish tasks and eventually the project.\n\nThis is nothing new, and even most of the micromanagers would know this. However, it is not easy to give up micromanaging. Why is that? Maybe the answer is in the thinking pattern. Maybe the micromanager is afraid to lose control. Maybe the micromanager is afraid to come up as not knowing the new ways. Maybe it affects the ego.\nBut my experience is different. When I give up suggestions and come up as \u2018not knowing\u2019 but allowing to try out the new ways, I need to make sure one thing. The team needs to be assured that they will be protected if anything goes wrong and help guide and manage up and control the situation.\nThat\u2019s it.\nThe team does not assess you as someone ignorant if you go their way. It feeds the team\u2019s ego in a healthy way \u2013 and that\u2019s a good way to encourage rather than protecting the manager\u2019s ego.\nBefore we start drawing conclusions about micromanaging, however, we should remember there\u2019s always another side to the coin.\nThere are various areas and uses where micromanagement might be helpful. One such area is complex assignments and delegation. For example, unless I can get all the necessary details about the data analysis being done, I can understand the challenges well enough to either (having a similar experience) provide suggestions or (as a leader) get another team member involved who has similar experience to look at the issue at hand. But a true leader will handle such situations, respectfully and delicately, so it doesn\u2019t come across as micromanaging.\nSo be bold, be ready to learn and become a true leader!\nA manager can be a micromanager, if s\/he wants to keep following the same way, same route, same method, same technology, but a leader has to keep an open and broad mind. A leader with an open mind is ready to learn, lets the team think creatively, and is ready to protect the team. Micromanager or a leader \u2013 the choice is yours.