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OTHER ITA SITES:
7 Lessons From A Bad Manager
Many people work for bosses who are horrible at what they do. It is an enviable situation that is fairly common. When circumstances such as these arise, most dwell negatively on the situation while complaining about how terrible their plight is. Naturally, this does not yield productive results. Nonetheless, the individual seems to take solace in the whining.
A much better approach when confronted with this scenario is to attempt to learn all you can from the situation. The changing of jobs is so common in this era that 5 years is considered long term tenure. People facing this dilemma often only need to deal with it for a short period of time. Typically, either the manager or the employee move on within a reasonable time frame. If an individual tries to gain all the knowledge possible from that person, he/she skills will grow.
I encountered a working relationship similar to what others experience. My experience within the particular field was 9 years when a new manager was brought in. He was new to the industry. Knowing this, all the employees were willing to give him reasonable time to learn the trade. Unfortunately for this individual and the company, his duration with the firm was short-lived. Working under him offered me an invaluable opportunity to witness a failed approach to management.
The lessons this individual taught immediately made me a much better leader. His actions which led to his demise caused alienation among the staff. He carried an unwillingness to learn from those who were already experienced in that field. Somehow, his ego told him that he knew more than the people who he managed.
Here are some of the lessons I learned:
1.Do not micromanage people: Micromanaging completely kills an individual's morale. This individual had to be involved in everything. There was no detail too small for him to concern himself with. The overriding belief was that he could not trust anyone to handle the most basic of activities. In reality, it was his own fears and lack of confidence that led to his behavior.
2.Take time when increasing expenses: Upper level management hates nothing more than to see expenses increasing as soon as someone else is brought in. This is especially true when one is hired in a sales management position. Do all you can to increase revenues first. If some expenses are necessary, try to spread them out over a period of time. This will lessen the negative impact on the profit/loss statement.
3.Take care of your “stars”: If there is someone who is a high producer, consider this person when making your decisions. Making changes that affect this person's work situation could really come back to harm you. Losing this individual's production makes it extremely difficult to increase revenues. Often, it becomes the fatal blow to the manager.
4.Be teachable: This is especially true if you are new to the industry. Even if you have experience in that field, realize that every company operates differently. Your present knowledge may not be sufficient to succeed in the other culture. Also, the people that you are leading tend to without their expertise when they are dealing with someone who comes across as a know-it-all. Accept that you do not have all the answers.
5.Focus on the things that make a major difference: There is a tendency to get caught up in making changes to areas that are irrelevant to productivity yet have a negative impact on the staff. Let the little things go while attending to the major shortcomings of the enterprise. Long-term employees typically resist change. Easing the pain with the process by altering the big things nets greater dividends.
6.Be sure to understand the 'hierarchy': Many companies have a written chain-of-command. However, these same organizations also can have an informal hierarchy that is even more powerful. Although you might have the authority, the power might reside with others. Long time employees tend to have relationships with upper management. These people often have the ability to circumvent you. If the situation is bad enough, they can turn your supervisors against you.
7.Earn the respect of the people you are leading: People will not follow those they have no respect for. This is earned by being an example to all those who are around. Be willing to do whatever you ask someone else to do. Make sure that you learning is continual so that other's understand that you know what you are talking about. And be consistent with the decisions made so that they are based upon merit, not personalities. This leads everyone to feel that they are treated fairly.
If you are in a position of supervising others, take heed of these lessons. The individual who taught them to me was let go after a short period of time. His inability to keep those happy who could have protected him ultimately caused his dismissal. Mutinies can occur just as easily on land as they do on the sea. Build the relationships with those around you to best protect yourself.
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