Macro Manager

A type of leader who uses a hands-off approach and allows subordinates to perform their tasks independently

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What is a Macro Manager?

A macro manager is a type of boss who allows employees to carry out their responsibilities independently. Such managers are more concerned with the results obtained by the employees’ inputs, rather than the day-to-day habits of their subordinates. Such a type of leadership is also known as macro-management.

Macro Manager - Image of a smiling man with his team meeting in the background

Some employees see macro managers as supervisors who fear being accountable for employees’ work, while others see them as supervisors who are comfortable doing their job independently. Macro managers tend to pay more attention to their specialties and may be unaware of a company’s cash flow, assets, or liabilities.

A macro manager is the direct opposite of a micromanager, who closely observes the behavior of employees as they work and is often concerned with the day-to-day routine of the employees.


  • A macro manager is a type of leader who uses a hands-off approach and allows subordinates to perform their tasks independently.
  • Companies that adopt macro-management leadership delegate authority and responsibilities to employees while focusing on their long-term strategy.
  • The upper hierarchy benefits from macro-management by making independent decisions concerning employees.

Understanding Macro Management

Companies use different management styles to make decisions and relate to employees. The micro and macro leadership levels take an elevated view approach, with top-down management decisions that pit performance against aggregate metrics. Macro managers look at a company as a whole and examine how performance is affected by strategic decisions regarding employees.

Companies that adopt a macro-management leadership style focus on long-term strategy while delegating responsibilities and authority. Thus, macro leadership is a strategic approach to managing employees. A macro manager thinks from a broader perspective by appraising the business environment and suitably adapting a company to the robustness of an external environment while maintaining a clear course of the company’s goals, mission, and objectives.

A macro manager further looks at various opportunities for business expansion and tries to innovate by modifying the existing products and services, entering into new markets, or launching new products and services.

The term “macro manager” is also used to describe someone who runs a macro hedge fund. Such a person is required to possess a broad base of knowledge to get a clear picture of factors that affect performance in the global markets. Such factors include how central banks in different nations function, government policies, and the existing political environment.

Micromanager vs. Macro Manager

Micromanagers are associated with short-term results but may hurt employee and company morale over time. Micromanagers exhibit negative connotations because employees may feel that such a leader is patronizing them due to the perceived incompetence of employees.

At the same time, the micromanagement type of leadership creates an insecure working environment that deprives employees of confidence in their work. The team may find it difficult to function when the manager is absent. A micromanager will usually spend most time supervising staff and exaggerating the value of minor details to his reports instead of using the time to perform other important things.

Conversely, a macro-management form of leadership is more effective. In addition to allowing employees to perform tasks autonomously, macro managers define broad functions to employees for direct reports and leave them to work independently. They are confident that employees are capable of completing their assigned roles without being constantly reminded.

The time that would’ve been spent looking over employees’ shoulders is used to get other important things done. In addition, employees can still work effectively, even if the manager is distant. Therefore, a manager must identify which leadership style will impart more influence on their relationship with employees.

Micro Manager vs. Macro Manager Diagram

Advantages and Disadvantages of Macro Management

Macro leadership may be considered beneficial to an organization’s upper tier hierarchy since it allows employees to perform their duties in autonomy. A good example is when a top-level manager within a company delegates tasks to employees working under him to stick to the company’s strategic plan, but employees make their own decisions on which approach to complete the tasks.

Similarly, the CEO of a company may present a set of ideas to the executive team that he supervises and encourages his team to assess and design projects that evaluate whether to pursue these ideas.

A disadvantage of a macro manager is that managers often feel it is more important to provide employees with directions, rather than empower them. Continuous use of the leadership style may lead to employees not being directly informed about issues faced by their teams or become distant from management. It can take a long time before employees get to know the challenges that their team must tackle.

Macro managers also create an impression of bureaucracy given their limited activity interest. They seem to lack awareness or understanding about the role each employee is delegated to perform, given their minimal direct involvement with staff.

The long-term effect is that a macro manager can fail to meet deadlines and achieve milestones because they lack awareness of the issues or barriers affecting the team, which could have been avoided.

More Resources

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