“I just love being micromanaged.”

Have you met a lot of people who would say this? Have you even met one? I’ve been studying leadership and human behavior for the last 20 years, and I struggle to think of a single person I’ve met — ever — who would say they enjoy being micromanaged.

Humans, by nature, seek independence and self-determinism. (If you find yourself skeptical of this, try helping a toddler put on their shoes.) We are wired to want to be masters of our own universe, to explore and push and strive. We crave the freedom to chase what compels us.

But something else is curious to me, as well. As we yearn to pursue these autonomous things that are decidedly human, is there really any practical difference in being micromanaged versus just being “managed?” The former seems to garner almost universal hatred, but the latter somehow seems to be almost completely acceptable.

Should that be the case?

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