Archive for March 5th, 2012

Traits seen in Bad Managers March 5th, 2012

Vinod Kumar

“People don’t quit companies, they quit bad managers”

bad-manager2I think I used this phrase long time back but kept reminding me on this topic to write for a while. With close to 10+ different managers I got to work there have been tons of learnings but equally there were traits which I wish were also not there. Here is a humble try to bring out some common traits few managers have in the industry that I wish were never there. This for sure will not include ALL the traits of a effective bad manager but the top in my opinion.

Note: these are just some observations and comments, hence any resemblance to anyone out there is mere coincidence :).

Now where do I start, there is no particular order to the madness here. For a change in this blog we are not talking about positive attributes. I talked about New Job, New Manager here and will surely be a worthy read if you have landed in this topic. I am sure you equally have horror stories and traits to share and order them if required.

  1. Bad bosses change minds frequently leaving you off-balance. Bad bosses change expectations, deadlines and fail to communicate the timelines or goals. More ironical is to give you goals and make you take off in the opposite direction.
  2. Worst of the lot is to take credit for successes and accomplishments while blame others / you when something goes wrong. My only request to them is –
    Life’s real failure is when you do not realize how close you were to success when you gave up.bad-manager1
  3. Not to let go of problems or mistakes and continually return to discuss negative events are functional traits of someone who needs to grow. Life moves on, give an opportunity for others to change. Change is the only constant.
  4. A bad manager can not accept constructive feedbacks nor feed-forward suggestions. They think these are disagreements and have their own opinions to thrust.
  5. An inefficient manager has trouble delegating and worst prioritizing work. They swap delegating important tasks and hence you see a clear motive of illogical favoritism. This creates rift in team members and they start to distance from each other.
  6. Attention to details (via micro-management) and perfection of small tasks is often distraction from the ability to perform the actual job. This is functionally – inefficiency surfaced. Such people tend to also try to paralyze by analysis sometimes.
  7. Induce fear when positive attitude can help the employees become productive. If a manager keeps harping on failure, it is actually counter productive.
  8. Rules are to be used as guidelines not something written on stone. Making own new policies and self not adhering is the first mistake any bad manager makes. Rule makers should not be the first rule breakers.
  9. Never should a manager “try” to mind read. Ask, talk and then sort what you are assuming. If they actively invested the time on the project, they know why things go wrong and when they go wrong.
  10. Most of the inefficient managers fail to look beyond their little world and forget to pass important information to their employees. This at many times gets the employees in the back foot when any news breaks.

Wow, I didn’t know this will get this far. But I am sure these were some of my views and not exhaustive though. But they represent some of the common practices in the managers and employees I meet. Let me know what you think of this article. What were your top likes from the top 10 list above :). I am sure I have missed few more but those can wait for another post some other day.

As I conclude, wanted to point you to another blog around “what do you look out at work” which in this context of blog can also make sense.

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