Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Founders Under 40™ Group: Qualities of a Bad Boss

I lot of times we emphasize the qualities of great boss. We spend our life worshiping and admiring our heroes. Dissecting every aspect of their character and how they became a success. Some of us imitate them. While it's great, most times we fail to identify the qualities of a bad manger and how it might be a reason for growing inefficiencies. 

Indecisive: constantly asking for more and more information, seeking more opinions and options. 

Information Secrecy: Hording information and treating employees like children. Thinking that people would not be able to comprehend 

Secrecy: "We can’t tell the staff," is something I hear managers say repeatedly. They defend this position with the argument that staff will be distracted, confused or simply unable to comprehend what is happening in the business. If you treat employees like children, they will behave that way -- which means trouble. If you treat them like adults, they may just respond likewise. Very few matters in business must remain confidential and good managers can identify those easily. The lover of secrecy has trouble being honest and is afraid of letting peers have the information they need to challenge him. He would rather defend his position than advance the mission. Secrets make companies political, anxious and full of  distrust.

Oversensitivity: "I know she’s always late, but if I raise the subject, she’ll be hurt."  An inability to be direct and honest with staff is a critical warning sign. Can your   manager see a problem, address it headlong and move on? If not, problems won’t get resolved, they’ll grow. When managers say staff is too sensitive, they are usually  describing themselves. Wilting violets don’t make great leaders. Weed them out. Interestingly, secrecy and over-sensitivity almost always travel together. They are a bias against honesty.

Love of procedure: Managers who cleave to the rule book, to points of order and    who refer to colleagues by their titles have forgotten that rules and processes exist to expedite business, not ritualize it. Love of procedure often masks a fatal inability to  prioritize -- a tendency to polish the silver while the house is burning.

Preference for weak candidates: We interviewed three job candidates for a new position. One was clearly too junior, the other rubbed everyone up the wrong way and the third stood head and shoulders above the rest. Who did our manager want to hire? The junior. She felt threatened by the super-competent manager and hadn’t the confidence to know that you must always hire people smarter than yourself.

Focus on small tasks: Another senior salesperson I hired always produced the most perfect charts, forecasts and spreadsheets. She was always on time, her data completely up-to-date. She would always volunteer for projects in which she had no core expertise -- marketing plans, financial forecasts, meetings with bank managers, the office move. It was all displacement activity to hide the fact that she could not do her real job.

Allergy to deadlines: A deadline is a commitment. The manager who cannot set, and stick to deadlines, cannot honor commitments. A failure to set and meet  deadlines also means that no one can ever feel a true sense of achievement. You  can’t celebrate milestones if there aren’t any.

Inability to hire former employees: I hired a head of sales once with (apparently) a luminous reputation. But, as we staffed up, he never attracted any candidates from his old company. He’d worked in sales for twenty years -- hadn’t he mentored anyone who’d want to work with him again? Every good manager has alumni, eager to join the team again; if they don’t, smell a rat.

Addiction to consultants: A common -- but expensive -- way to put off making decisions is to hire consultants who can recommend several alternatives. While they’re figuring these out, managers don’t have to do anything. And when the consultant’s choices are presented, the ensuing debates can often absorb hours, days, months. Meanwhile, your organization is poorer but it isn’t any smarter. When the consultant leaves, he takes your money and his increased expertise out  the door with him.

Long hours: In my experience, bad managers work very long hours. They think this  is a brand of heroism but it is probably the single biggest hallmark of incompetence. To work effectively, you must prioritize and you must pace yourself. The manager who boasts of late nights, early mornings and no time off cannot manage himself so you’d better not let him manage anyone else.

Any one of these behaviours should sound a warning bell. More than two -- sound the alarm!

 

*written by a different author

Translate

Join

Join
Join Unconventional Founders Community

Bonus

Search This Blog

Featured Post

Boost Your Service Business and Leads 10X - Founders Under 40™ Group Sponsor

Selling is still crucial to a business. For a service business startup, small business, professional service provider, the reality is t...

Popular Posts

Blog Archive

Labels

Contact Form

Name

Email *

Message *

Contact

Providing unconventional and conventional marketing service and business solutions, that focuses on early & growing service oriented organization. Proud partner to Founders Under 40 Group

Use form first so we can personalized engagement because we don't serve everyone.

Contact form


EM: info[at]foundersunder40[dot]com
Skype: amhiredaidto
Slack: https://foundersunder40group.slack.com
Chat: IM, SMS
SF: 415 -- 830 -- 9856
TO: 647 -- 560 -- 9886
Mon – Sat 9am – 7pm Eastern Time
Toronto. New York. US. Europe. Africa.