Note from Art: here’s a fresh follow-on to some earlier posts on the habits of lousy leaders and managers based on input from participants in my management programs and forums. It seems we don’t run out of content for this thread!
Related: At Least 20 Things to Stop Doing as a Leader and At Least 10 More Things to Stop Doing if You are the Boss. Reader participation has pushed those numbers considerably higher.
At Least 10 Managers You Don’t Want to Meet Along the Way
1. The Manager with the “My Way or the Highway” attitude. Most of your employees would like to see you on the highway. They might not swerve.
2. The Royal Boss who expects team members to bow to his every utterance and serve every whim without questions. If given a vote it’s off with his head!
3. The Puppet Master. When their lips move you can hear his voice. There’s the senior manager who holds a meeting to prep (read: script) his team on what they can and cannot say during the upcoming company meeting.
4. Meet Machine Gun Sally. She shoots first when things go wrong and doesn’t bother to ask questions. Stay out of her sight!
5. Here’s Rodger the Decision Dodger: he never met a decision he didn’t want to avoid, lest he be held accountable for something.
6. Don’t Give a Boost to Caryn the Climber. Watch out, because her attitude is: “I will step on the carcasses of those who work for me on my way to the top, and for some of you, I might dig my heel in a bit harder.”
7. Tim’s desk is always spotless. It turns out, empty desk, empty mind.
8. Paul the Player has a distinct hiring profile. I wonder why HR hasn’t figured this out?!
9. Jerry and Janet the Jekyl and Hyde Managers. You never know which one is going to show up (not Jerry or Janet) and watch out for sudden mood swings…they can be harmful to your career.
10. Larry the Logger. He truly cannot see the forest for the trees. Don’t expect big picture stuff from this flannel shirted myopic manager.
The Bottom-Line for Now:
With all of the truly horrific examples I hear about in my programs, one might think that being a good boss is a hard thing to do. It’s not. A dose of humility and a heaping helping of respect for others and you’re off to a good start. However, if you happen to run across one of the above managers or their many cousins, take some good notes on what not to do!
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An ideal book for anyone starting out in leadership: Practical Lessons in Leadership by Art Petty and Rich Petro.