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'Bad Management' is Just Plain Bad for Business

(Posted on Feb 22, 2014 at 02:06PM )
Picture As promised, I am following up on my article from yesterday “Do You Want a Company of 'Heroes or Zeros?' which came about from an article that received a lot of comments entitled “The Secret to Delighting Customers? Put Employees First” That brings up problems in the workplace that we all have encountered and all need to find solutions for.

Bad Management

Bad management runs rampant in organizations.  Always be suspect when in an interview when a manager says “What goes on here stays here” or “It’s my way or the highway”.

A good manager is secure in his or her position and is someone who can encourage ideas and foster an atmosphere of openness and collaboration. An insecure manager or bad manager will not hold on to good people and many times staff does not want to go to upper management for fear of retribution. This has devastating effects on performance of the department.  

All emotions stem from insecurity and must be controlled because it has no place in a workplace setting or anywhere else for that matter. It is a disease that will eat away at and hold back any organization.

An insecure manager will isolate themselves and more often than not hold people their ideas and consequently the business back because he or she are afraid of losing their position to someone else who they feel may be seen as more qualified. If someone is in fear of losing their job to someone under any circumstance, they probably should not have gotten the job in the first place.

There are many other factors that define a bad manager. One kind of manager is the one who is inconsistent saying one thing and doing another without explaining their actions and who is arrogant in believing they are always right and makes sure everyone knows it. This type of manager is often egocentric and makes every issue about them, doesn’t listen to advice offered but ignores it before even considering it. This inhibits the staff from even mentioning any ideas they may have and leaves them feeling helpless and feeling that nothing will ever be done to improve on a bad situation.

 These managers are also often self-centered and do not support, encourage or look out for their team. The worst are mean and abusive and make people feel bad for no reason.

Then there are managers who micro-manage and refuse to delegate anything, despite what they say. This isolates them so they often don’t involve others in decisions and rarely look for ways to support or encourage the work of their team. This is often is caused by incompetence or the lack of basic communication, intellectual, or emotional skills needed to for their role.

 And the complacent manager is content with the way things are and is not open to change. They like things the way they are because they have become lazy or are afraid to rock the boat for fear that things might take a turn for the worse or jeopardize their position.

One experience I had when I was still a salesperson at a dealership where there were 24 salespeople we had a GM who we called “Little Caesar.” This title came from his short stature and dictatorial style of managing. He would hold three to four meetings a day and would rant and rave and almost every day a salesperson would end up getting fired. He would always say “Your weak, give me your plate and keys, you’re all done”

Another time The GM as the son of the owner who raced sailboats and was rarely at the dealership.  I believe this had an effect on our GSM because he spent more time outside the dealership hobnobbing with hockey players from the Boston Bruins who were spokesman for the dealership and relying on myself and my counterpart to run the daily sales operations.

I have also be part of organizations where a manager spent valuable company time in generating options as solutions to a problem but the problem was created by this same manager. Incompetent managers create more problems than they solve and then waste time to solve the same problems they created in the first place.

I have given some example here of what I have run into over the years being part of the workforce. These experiences convinced me to spend most of my working career being self-employed trying to avoid the pitfalls that bad management can inflict.

Let’s hear some of your experiences of how it has or may be affecting you and thoughts on possible solutions for this age old problem and human condition that affects the performance of so many businesses.

William Cosgrove
Bill Cosgrove Straight Talk