Friday, October 07, 2005

Stupid Manager Tricks, Part I

Part of the challenge of finding good people for administrative positions is defining just what, exactly, a good manager is (or does). Like a sculptor, I’ll get at it by chipping away the traits of bad managers.

Stupid Manager Tricks I’ve run across at one time or another:

- Change your mind frequently, but don’t tell anybody. Moving the goalposts is profoundly demoralizing, yet oddly common.

- Tighten controls on meaningless details to show you’re in charge.

- Play games with the chain of command. Frequently overrule the people directly beneath you when people beneath them complain to you.

- Radiate stress.

- Make snap judgments about people, and stick to them in the face of torrents of counterevidence.

- Mistake personal like or dislike for evaluation of performance.

- Play out your personal demons via your organization. That never gets old!

- Refuse to make hard decisions. Always please the person in the room with you at the time.

- Frequently declare, “it’s not either/or, it’s both/and!” That’s non/sense.

- Budgets, schmudgets. Resources are infinite, if you believe hard enough!

What stupid manager tricks have you seen?