Bowden-ize Your Business

Macro v. Micro Management

Click above for an introduction from Executive Assistant Carrie Harper

Why don’t my employees take responsibility for their work?

“Why do I feel like I’m carrying the team?”

“Why do I have to do EVERYTHING?”

Have you ever felt like that when managing a team?

On the other hand, have you ever felt micromanaged? 

“Why did he assign me that project if he is just going to do everything FOR me? “

“Why do I feel like I’m being watched through a microscope?”

“Why do I not feel trusted?”

A lot of the disconnect here may have to do with the communication of expectations. 

For example, when you assigned the project, were you clear enough to the team involved?

  • Who is this for?
  • What is the purpose?
  • What outcome do we want to achieve?
  • Why I am trusting YOU to this assignment

Giving your team this relevant information may make them feel more accountable to the outcome of the project. It gives them a level of ownership. It shows you trust them with the information on the project to help them feel integral to it.

On the other side, have you asked accountability questions to the management team?

  • What is your desired outcome for this project?
  • How do you see this project being used?
  • What are the main elements you find to be essential in this project?
  • Who else is working on this project?
  • Can we go over a calendar of expectations?

Having a high level of clarity from the beginning sets management and the employees at ease, and establishes a level of trust that helps everyone take ownership, or accountability, within the project.

This level of trust and accountability is termed as “Macromanagement” over micromanagement.

In a Macromanagement organizational structure, the manager is seen as the Visionary of a project, not the producer. Her accountability is in her strong delegation skills to assign the project to qualified team members.

That, of course, requires strong hiring and training skills within the organization.

Famous college football coach Bobby Bowden used to say: “Hire the best. And let them do their jobs.”

That philosophy led to his being the winningest division one college football coach in history (The GOAT!) at the time of his retirement in 2009.

Bowden had a tradition of trusting his assistant coaches, giving them ownership of their role at Florida State University, and showing by example, rather than by micromanagement. He set clear expectations and goals, and let his team show their genius.

To be the winningest of all time takes more than control.

It takes vision and trust. It takes accountability from every level. As a member of the marching band for four of the years of which Bowden was the coach at my university, I even felt a level of accountability for the team, remembering his chats with the whole band, thanking us for being part of the team, and throwing us his hat at the end of a long game (with 100+ repetitions of the famous War Chant.)

How can you Bowden-ize your company?

Set a vision, be clear, hire greatness, train them up, and give them accountability for their place in the project. The result is pride. 

We all want to feel pride in what we do.



Fundamental of the Week #12: BE ACCOUNTABLE   Act like you are an owner in the company. Ownership accountability means holding yourself to account, holding others to account, and the willingness to be held to account.  

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *