Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Surviving Poor Management 11: Incompetent Managers

Bad Manager signThis continues our series on how to survive poor management at work and grow

Rachel worked for a small company with 20-25 employees for 10 years. She worked hard for the company, but never felt appreciated by the owner. He constantly criticized her, gave her assignments just before quitting time and told her she had to stay until they were finished. She went 4 years without receiving a raise. In retrospect, Rachel recognized 7 of the traits outlined by Margaret Heffernan. Rachel finally had to leave the company when they closed their doors due to poor management.

10 Signs of Incompetent Managers

Toni Bowers referred to an article written by Margaret Heffernan listing 10 traits shared by poor managers. Heffernan outlines the following characteristics:

  • Bias against action because they constantly analyze problems
  • Secrecy becomes a shield bad manager use to hide what they do
  • Over-sensitivity that inhibits them from facing the brutal facts
  • Love of procedure may mask a problem with prioritizing
  • Preference for weak candidates because strong ones threaten them
  • Focus on small tasks instead of the most important and effective ones
  • Inability to hire former employees because they won’t work for them
  • Allergy to deadlines indicates an inability to set and fulfill milestones
  • Addiction to consultants to defer making decisions themselves
  • Long hours because they cannot prioritize work or get it done in time

What to Do If You Work for a Bad Boss

Most workers today learn how to adjust to poor management in one way or another.

  • Study materials about good management
  • Implement good management practices quietly without fanfare
  • Help your manager implement better management practices
  • Stay out of sight

Occasionally, you cannot adjust or adapt to bad management. In those cases, you may need to explore options:

  • Go to work for another company. (Research to ensure do not find another bad boss)
  • Explore how you can help your boss manage more effectively
  • Stay aware of poor management and consequences to the organization
  • Accept the poor management and find satisfaction in other pursuits

Friday we review Kelly Eggers article 10 Signs You’ve Got a Bad Boss

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