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Sunday, January 13, 2013


Have you or DO you work for a bad manager? What makes him or her bad? In my work life, I have had many examples...

The Mask – This guy/gal seems like a great person to work for in the beginning. He is bright, upbeat, and maybe even has a sense of humor that you like and look forward to working with. And then..... You work for them and quickly realize how far from reality you have strayed. How could you be so wrong? They seemed positive and uplifting in the interview, but the atmosphere they live in is dark and threatening. They always look to the bad side and it truly gets tiring dealing with the negativity. They seemed compassionate and yet, so clearly they are not. They view people as they would a file cabinet. Once it is no longer useful, replace it with another. They manage by demeaning their staff, in public or not. They MAKE SURE you know THEY are in charge and most of the ideas that are brought forward are theirs. They are awful to report to, unpredictable to deal with, and will prove to make your future look bright... as you leave for another, hopefully better opportunity.

The Hooker – This bad manager makes policies based solely on money. Do whatever it takes to make the sale. Ethics, in their eyes, are very fluid and it changes with the product they are focusing on at the moment. If they need to pick up the numbers on product A, then by god, the customer will not survive without taking home at least 1! The truth is avoidable, if you don't mention the details that enable the customer to make an informed decision. Just give them what we make most money on and don't mention anything, even if it brings with it, benefits that the customer will not know he has. That way, he won't be coming back for a freebie. Working for a hooker is unbearable for those who value honesty, integrity, and joy in the workplace. You WILL find joy.... hopefully in the NEXT opportunity you are able to take, somewhere else!

The Resultinator – This man/woman doesn't manage people. He manages results. That's a wonderful theory.... except for one thing – results are based on what WAS, not what is coming. Logic would tell you that managing something that has already been done is like buying today's winning lottery numbers tomorrow and expecting to win. It will bring nothing positive because whatever the task is, it's not good enough. All the effort the staff puts towards achieving success is instantly deflated when the bad manager insists there was more to be done. It wasn't good enough. More! More! More! Like a treadmill that constantly gets faster, eventually you will be thrown off, and when you are, the NEXT opportunity that comes your way is going to seem so much better and more fulfilling. Here's hoping it IS.

The Dangerfielder – This clueless manager doesn't respect his people or what they do or their role in his own success. He tries to make you feel inept and uncomfortable in his presence. He is always complaining that his people are drones and need his guidance and leadership otherwise the ship will sink. Well, the ship WILL indeed sink once all the people who have self-respect and a mind of their own leave and he is left with scared, mindless misfits that can't muster up enough courage to find a better situation to work in. They will never leave, until the bad manager fires them for unsatisfactory performance. He will just keep bringing in more sheep, because to him/her, they are all the same. Next!

The Cheerleader – This outgoing, peppy, and Kool-Aid-drinkin manager doesn't lack for energy. He is the first in, always happy, and puts in long hours, doing what no one really knows. He wants to inspire but for some reason doesn't. He says the words but everyone knows it's empty. He has said it before. Many times. MANY many times. And nothing changes. Why? Because he has no answers. He doesn't KNOW how to play defense but there he is, front row, cheering DEE-FENCE!... DEE-FENCE! Just don't ask him for details. He may have worked for Nike at one time. His only advice is to “Just Do It”. His staff succeeds despite his lack of knowledge and assistance, until the time they NEED help and he has no clue what the answer is. Enjoy the good times, because the BAD IS coming....

The Politician – This clown wears whatever suit it takes to impress his boss. “Yes Sir!” is a phrase heard on every phone call from his superior and he wants the staff to do whatever the BIG boss says, regardless of the consequences. He pushes what he is expected to push and makes it quite obvious in public areas where his head is. He always makes it public what he himself has done to earn the recognition he may or may not deserve. He will tell you that the job you are doing is great, then you hear from someone you may be on the hot seat. You realize he/she is only working for their own interests and does not care about you or your co-workers. Do not shake hands or let him kiss your baby. See them for what they are – irrelevant and decide if this can work out well for YOU. If not, it's time to update the resume.

Henry the 8th – This bad manager has only two tools to use in his belt and he uses them every day with everyone. Threats and intimidation. If he isn't threatening your job he must have already have someone in mind for your job. He doesn't have a nice way to put it but has no problem telling you that your career is in jeopardy if you don't do this or that.. He doesn't follow through most times, so the weight of his words are less and less over time. Eventually you might be able to tune him out but seriously, who wants to work in THAT kind of environment? It's a dark place and you need a tan, fast! Leave on YOUR terms and you will feel a whole lot better about yourself. Leave on HIS and you may be driven to homicide. Or simple assault.

The Cruise Controller – This person has probably been in position for years and doesn't see any reason to change. Things have worked for 20 years so why do something different. They are blind to suggestions and put the “auto” in autopilot. You can time a clock by their actions. This manager is perfect for those businesses that never change. Oh wait, there AREN'Y any!

There are many more types but these are the ones I actually had the misfortune to work with. I learned though, and as a manager myself, I did my best to NOT do what these seat-warmers did. They were great teachers in that respect.

Ironic that the ONE thing they were good at, they were not actually trying to do... Registered & Protectedthe copyright law

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