Once you have successfully completed firefighter promotion and get the job you've been working so hard for, you may fall into the micromanaging leadership trap. People do this as a way to ensure they are successful, but that is the worst thing you can do, here’s why.
A huge negative associated with micromanaging is it hinders learning. One of the best ways to learn is to fail and learn from your mistakes. No one is going to be perfect all the time and people will make mistakes. You are doing your crew members a disservice if you are not allowing them the space to make mistakes and grow from them. In addition, if you just do everything yourself, your team is not going to get the opportunity to gain any knowledge or skills whatsoever. I assure you that will be a much bigger problem down the line than a small mistake that was made.
One thing that micromanaging does pretty much immediately is destroy any trust that has been built between a leader and those they lead, especially when it comes to little things. If you watch someone’s every move and action they take, it makes it very obvious you do not trust them to complete the job on their own. Trust is especially crucial to a leader in the early stages of a new supervisor/supervisee relationship. If on day one you are babysitting your crew they are going to feel you do not trust them and that will lead to a lot of other issues down the line.
Hinders Confidence of Others
One of the issues that micromanaging can cause is that it hinders confidence big time. If everything you do is scrutinized or you are not even given the opportunity to do things you normally do, you will begin to question our worth. Am I not good enough? Do they not trust me to get the job done? Am I a failure? Is my job in jeopardy? These are questions that can have a negative impact on a person mentally and that can transfer over to the job. They may begin second guessing themselves anytime they do anything.
The more you micromanage and break trust and the confidence of your crew, the more dependent they will become on you. They are going to come to you for help with every little thing and I mean everything. You have taught them they are not good enough to do anything alone, they need your help. They cannot complete a task by themselves, they are not capable. You have made them feel this way. Your crew coming to you for guidance on every little thing may be fine for a bit, but eventually it will not work out for anyone.
When you micromanage, you essentially do everything, and it will become exhausting. You are putting everything on your shoulders, when you don’t need to, that is the whole reason these other firefighters exist. You all are a team. You are there to guide, not do it all. If you choose to do it all, it will inevitably be your own downfall.
Bad Morale Overall
Being a leader who micromanages is just going to create a group of people, you included, that have horrible morale. No one wants to work for someone who manages their every move, but they have to keep coming to work for a paycheck. The person doing the micromanaging is going to be exhausted and at the end of their rope all the time. A micromanaging boss creates a group of miserable people, nothing more. This will lead to people quitting, calling in sick, or just coming to work with a bad attitude.
A lot of people that micromanage have very good intentions, they just want to make sure things are done right, especially when they are leading a new group of people. However, it can get the relationship off to a really rough start. If you want to be a successful leader after you get promoted in the fire service, you need to give your crew the space they need to work. Trust they will come to you when they need support, otherwise everyone will be unhappy.