Peter Sperry

Micro managing should be a very last resort when all other efforts have failed. Unfortunately sometimes it is necessary. Several years ago I worked with members of Congress who had gained presidential support and statutory authority for an initiative. Unfortunately the senior executives at the agency tasked with implementation didn’t approve of the initiative and were dragging teir feet to avoid compliance. Congressional instructions became more explicit with each passing year (involving several appropriations bills and multiple hearings). Each time Congress provided broad guidance, the agency found away around it by pointing to various grants of discretionary authority in previous legislation. Finally, the staff director of the appropriations subcommittee of jurisdiction called in the agency head and laid out an appropriations bill that detailed how every single dollar in their account was to be obligated, by line item and by fiscal quater; pointing out that if cooperation were not forthcoming, this bill would be the next step and the President would sign it. The agency shifted direction in less than 30 days.

Micromanagment is the 2×4 of leadership and I don’t know of anyone who actually enjoys using it but some mules simply will not heed any other instruction.