Monday, 11 May 2015

Toxic Management Styles

I know that one should always try to adopt a positive approach, but I’m going to start the other way this time.  I’m just as guilty of these as anyone else.  Maybe not all, but definitely some!

“I’m The Boss” Management:
There’s nothing you can teach me.  I’m always right. What I say goes, I’ve been in this business for 20 years, etc…

Meaning: “I’m not receptive to new ideas.”

“I Pay Your Salary” Management:
Therefore I have no other duty to you.  If you don’t like it leave. 

The trouble is, people will do exactly that at the first opportunity.

Management By Memo:
“I sent a memo/email/written instruction/text”. 

But did you check to see that it went to the right people, that they received it in time, that they understood what was required and had the opportunity to clarify things?  Come to think of it, do you even talk to them?

“Drive By” Management:
Sticking your head round the door,/over the cubicle/sending an email/text “on the fly” with a request for something (usually urgent) and leaving without waiting for a reply or replying to subsequent requests for clarification. 

This may result in frustrated employees trying to guess what you need and you not getting it.  Often goes with “Absentee Landlord” management.

“Do As I Say” Management:
… not as I do. 

You need to “walk the talk”.  It’s called “leadership”.  Being “the boss” doesn’t exempt you.

“I’ve Been In This Game Longer” Management:
Problem is, you may miss things that a fresh pair of eyes may see.

“Absentee Landlord” Management:
Not being around when people need to speak to you - particularly if you're the final decision-maker/authoriser.  This extends to not replying to emails. 

When this happens, you can get “Bottleneck Boss” syndrome.  Saying “I expect my reports to be able to manage without me is an excuse if they lack training/authority.

“Bottleneck Boss” Management:
When you are the only approving authority and everything has to come to you.  This delays action and may result in lost opportunities as everything’s “stuck in the queue”. 

Common in small businesses where often the founder is the only authority.

The opposite of “Absentee Landlord”. 

In this case you're constantly hovering, resulting in nervous/demotivated people who feel that you don't trust them. 

Management By “Manifestation”:
Continually acting in a way to prove that you are the boss. 

Shows a sense of insecurity.

Management By Omission/Commission:
Accidentally or deliberately leaving people out of an information loop resulting in them looking bad, uninformed, make effective decisions or even unable to do their job.

“Muddy Management”:
Simply failing to make yourself clear. 

May mean you haven’t thought it through or you could be dealing with someone who isn’t yet used to your way of thinking/doing things.

Favourites or Pet Hates:
Having favourite staff or staff whom you clearly don’t like makes everyone feel uncomfortable.  It’s natural to get on better with some than with others, but as a manager you have to be seen to be fair. 

Being described as “Strict/tough but fair” is a compliment.

I have spent more than half my life delivering change in different world markets from the most developed to “emerging” economies. With more than 20 years in international financial services around the world  running different operations and lending businesses, I started my own Consultancy to offer solutions for improving performance, productivity and risk management.  I work with individuals, small businesses, charities, quoted companies and academic institutions across the world. An international speaker, trainer, author and fund-raiser, I can be contacted by email . My website provides a full picture of my portfolio of services.  For strategic questions that you should be asking yourself, follow me at @wkm610.

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