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Thread: The boss's faults.

  1. #1 The boss's faults. 
    Forum Radioactive Isotope skeptic's Avatar
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    Some years ago, I did a range of aptitude tests (given to all the senior people in the company I worked for). My most developed talent, according to those tests, was what they called "critical decision making", which was the ability to make decisions based on rational, fact based criteria, rather than emotional logic.

    This, of course, primed me to notice those occasions when senior managers made decisions based on emotion and on non rational elements. Of course, such observations were really, really frequent. A few short years later, I went into business for myself (successfully) and I am sure that a big reason was my developing contempt for irrational managers.

    Couple of observations.
    - The frequency with which managers ask subordinates to carry out tasks, like writing reports, which waste time and produce nothing.
    - The tendency for managers to reward those people who suck up to them, rather than those more competent people who simply do the job well.
    - The tendency to make decisons based on wishful thinking rather than on the hard data available to them. Like where to invest more money.

    What have you guys seen? Tendencies to do what is irrational rather than what is smart?


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  3. #2  
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    Quote Originally Posted by skeptic View Post
    Some years ago, I did a range of aptitude tests (given to all the senior people in the company I worked for). My most developed talent, according to those tests, was what they called "critical decision making", which was the ability to make decisions based on rational, fact based criteria, rather than emotional logic.

    This, of course, primed me to notice those occasions when senior managers made decisions based on emotion and on non rational elements. Of course, such observations were really, really frequent. A few short years later, I went into business for myself (successfully) and I am sure that a big reason was my developing contempt for irrational managers.

    Couple of observations.
    - The frequency with which managers ask subordinates to carry out tasks, like writing reports, which waste time and produce nothing.
    - The tendency for managers to reward those people who suck up to them, rather than those more competent people who simply do the job well.
    - The tendency to make decisons based on wishful thinking rather than on the hard data available to them. Like where to invest more money.

    What have you guys seen? Tendencies to do what is irrational rather than what is smart?
    I have been self-employed for a long time and my husband also.

    I think Managers need to learn proper delegation. Micromanaging is NOT a good thing in most business situations.


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  4. #3  
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    Quote Originally Posted by skeptic View Post
    Some years ago, I did a range of aptitude tests (given to all the senior people in the company I worked for). My most developed talent, according to those tests, was what they called "critical decision making", which was the ability to make decisions based on rational, fact based criteria, rather than emotional logic.

    This, of course, primed me to notice those occasions when senior managers made decisions based on emotion and on non rational elements. Of course, such observations were really, really frequent. A few short years later, I went into business for myself (successfully) and I am sure that a big reason was my developing contempt for irrational managers.

    Couple of observations.
    - The frequency with which managers ask subordinates to carry out tasks, like writing reports, which waste time and produce nothing.
    - The tendency for managers to reward those people who suck up to them, rather than those more competent people who simply do the job well.
    - The tendency to make decisons based on wishful thinking rather than on the hard data available to them. Like where to invest more money.

    What have you guys seen? Tendencies to do what is irrational rather than what is smart?
    I have seen far too many persons in management positions develop "swelled heads". In time, the condition promotes the ongoing belief that as managers they always know more about the work than the workers. They forget that they depend on explicit decisions made not by themselves, but rather by skilled tradespeople whose everyday work involves solving problems about which these managers largely have nary a clue. Thus, there develops a "wall" between management and the plumbers, electricians, die makers, machinists, millwrights, and mechanics which can only be breached or broken down by the manager proving to these skilled individuals that he knows WTF he's talking about.

    The best working relationship I have seen uniting these two factions resulted from either the manager having previously engaged in their trades, or the tradespeople believing, erroneously or not, that he had. The former is rare (I possess it: toot toot my horn!), the latter even more so. jocular
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  5. #4  
    Universal Mind John Galt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by skeptic View Post
    What have you guys seen? Tendencies to do what is irrational rather than what is smart?
    I am still employed by a large corporation. The interenet is not an anonymous place. I like my job. I therefore plead the Fifth.
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  6. #5  
    Theatre Whore babe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by John Galt View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by skeptic View Post
    What have you guys seen? Tendencies to do what is irrational rather than what is smart?
    I am still employed by a large corporation. The interenet is not an anonymous place. I like my job. I therefore plead the Fifth.
    Could you not respond in generalization Mr. Galt?

    I can understand wanting to keep your job! *chuckle*
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  7. #6  
    Forum Masters Degree LuciDreaming's Avatar
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    All I will say, being in the same position as John is that not all people should be Managers and not all Managers are people......
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    "And we should consider every day lost on which we have not danced at least once. And we should call every truth false which was not accompanied by at least one laugh" Nietzsche.
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  8. #7  
    Theatre Whore babe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LuciDreaming View Post
    All I will say, being in the same position as John is that not all people should be Managers and not all Managers are people......
    And not all managers KNOW what they are doing.....

    I worked at the local University and it was time for my review.

    I am rather upfront.

    Manager says to me.

    "You seem to have a problem with how the department is run."

    My reply.

    Lord knows tact is not always my strong suit.

    "Well, if my fucking boss knew how to do her job and I didn't have to show her how to do HER'S AND do mine, it might help."

    Let's just say, I didn't get a very good review. *chuckle*
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  9. #8  
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    This reminds me of a website where people share their anecdotes about their bosses and co-workers, called notalwaysworking.com

    It's either the Peter principle or the Dilbert principle at work here.
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  10. #9  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Daecon View Post
    This reminds me of a website where people share their anecdotes about their bosses and co-workers, called notalwaysworking.com

    It's either the Peter principle or the Dilbert principle at work here.
    Not familiar!

    Would you be so kind as to explain the Dilbert and /or Peter principle?

    Sorry to be so dense!
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  11. #10  
    Forum Professor Daecon's Avatar
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    Sure thing, I'll just copy from Wikipedia

    Peter Principle - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    The Peter Principle is a proposition that states that the members of an organization where promotion is based on achievement, success, and merit will eventually be promoted beyond their level of ability. The principle is commonly phrased, "Employees tend to rise to their level of incompetence." In more formal parlance, the effect could be stated as: employees tend to be given increasing authority until they cannot continue to work competently.
    Dilbert principle - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    The Dilbert principle refers to a 1990s satirical observation by Dilbert cartoonist Scott Adams stating that companies tend to systematically promote their least-competent employees to management (generally middle management), in order to limit the amount of damage they are capable of doing.

    The Dilbert principle, by contrast, assumes that hierarchy just serves as a means for removing the incompetent to "higher" positions where they will be unable to cause damage to the workflow, assuming that the upper echelons of an organization have little relevance to its actual production, and that the majority of real, productive work in a company is done by people lower in the power ladder.
    This is a popular way of explaining why people who are really good at their jobs often make really poor managers at those jobs.
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  12. #11  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Daecon View Post
    Sure thing, I'll just copy from Wikipedia

    Peter Principle - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    The Peter Principle is a proposition that states that the members of an organization where promotion is based on achievement, success, and merit will eventually be promoted beyond their level of ability. The principle is commonly phrased, "Employees tend to rise to their level of incompetence." In more formal parlance, the effect could be stated as: employees tend to be given increasing authority until they cannot continue to work competently.
    Dilbert principle - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    The Dilbert principle, by contrast, assumes that hierarchy just serves as a means for removing the incompetent to "higher" positions where they will be unable to cause damage to the workflow, assuming that the upper echelons of an organization have little relevance to its actual production, and that the majority of real, productive work in a company is done by people lower in the power ladder.
    This is a popular way of explaining why people who are really good at their jobs often make really poor managers at those jobs.
    Happy we don't follow those goal lines.

    WE want people who can learn to RUN a business.....takes a person about 10-15 years to be considered for a partner position, but that is by contribution and achievement

    Why in the world would you want stupid management, or am I missing something here?
    The Dilbert principle refers to a 1990s satirical observation by Dilbert cartoonist Scott Adams stating that companies tend to systematically promote their least-competent employees to management (generally middle management), in order to limit the amount of damage they are capable of doing.
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  13. #12  
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    I think the general idea behind the "Dilbert" version is that people who know what they're doing, do the job. Those that don't know how to do the job just get to sit in the big chair and organize meetings with clients/suppliers, etc.

    I think it's just a sarcastic/cynical way of explaining why so many managers seem to not have a clue about how to do the job of their employees, and not to be taken seriously.
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  14. #13  
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    Quote Originally Posted by John Galt View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by skeptic View Post
    What have you guys seen? Tendencies to do what is irrational rather than what is smart?
    I am still employed by a large corporation. The interenet is not an anonymous place. I like my job. I therefore plead the Fifth.
    Ok since you're too chicken to speak out loud, let me translate the above for your boss(es?)
    You think that, on a good day, one might actually make it all the way up to mediocrity. But sadly, on an average day their heads are stuck so far up their assholes, that they can view life from between their rotting teeth.

    Did that fix it for you "John"?
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  15. #14  
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    The problem with the Dilbert Principle is that lots of managers have the power to tell the competent employees what to do, and the incompetent managers think they have to.

    The last actual "job" I had, as opposed to running my own business, we had a manager who thought he knew better than the people at the coal face. He required people to do things his way, which led to enormous loss of earnings. Not my problem, but I thought it was, and I expressed my views. Got sacked. Started my own business. Earned double what I was earning as a wage slave, and loved the work.
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  16. #15  
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    Quote Originally Posted by skeptic View Post
    The problem with the Dilbert Principle is that lots of managers have the power to tell the competent employees what to do, and the incompetent managers think they have to.
    Yep, I've seen that happen a lot. And the converse happens as well - competent managers who have both the power and responsibility to tell less competent workers what to do are often ignored, sometimes with disastrous consequences.
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  17. #16  
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    A couple of years ago, my husband and our other partner, who are the senior partners, gave a younger partner, a learning curve.

    The concept being, that these junior partners will someday be taking over and they need to understand how to take a major undertaking from conception to finality.

    One thing they didn't like was that one ran up too much legal time for things. In the end, however, they learned how hard it is to start and successfully finish the endeavor and they learned.

    As my husband and his partner said, "We also made our share of mistakes, and we LEARNED from them, and didn't make them again. They need that type of knowledge also.
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  18. #17  
    ...matter and pixie dust wegs's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by babe View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by skeptic View Post
    Some years ago, I did a range of aptitude tests (given to all the senior people in the company I worked for). My most developed talent, according to those tests, was what they called "critical decision making", which was the ability to make decisions based on rational, fact based criteria, rather than emotional logic.

    This, of course, primed me to notice those occasions when senior managers made decisions based on emotion and on non rational elements. Of course, such observations were really, really frequent. A few short years later, I went into business for myself (successfully) and I am sure that a big reason was my developing contempt for irrational managers.

    Couple of observations.
    - The frequency with which managers ask subordinates to carry out tasks, like writing reports, which waste time and produce nothing.
    - The tendency for managers to reward those people who suck up to them, rather than those more competent people who simply do the job well.
    - The tendency to make decisons based on wishful thinking rather than on the hard data available to them. Like where to invest more money.

    What have you guys seen? Tendencies to do what is irrational rather than what is smart?
    I have been self-employed for a long time and my husband also.

    I think Managers need to learn proper delegation. Micromanaging is NOT a good thing in most business situations.
    most micromanagers that i've had the misfortune of working with/for, i always thought were insecure, deep down. A sign of a confident manager, is the ability to hire competent people and trust them with the roles you have placed them in, without criticizing their every move. Managers who do this, honestly undermine productivity.
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  19. #18  
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    This should put it all into perspective.....

    Who’s the Boss?

    The parts of the body argued over who would be boss.
    The brain explained that since he controlled all the parts of the body, he should be boss. The legs argued that since they took man wherever he wanted to go, they should be boss. The stomach countered with the explanation that since he digested all the food, he should be boss. The eyes said that without them man would be helpless, so they should be boss. Then the asshole applied for the job. The other parts of the body laughed so hard at this that the asshole became mad and closed up.
    After a few days…
    The brain went foggy, the legs got wobbly, the stomach got ill, and the eyes got crossed and unable to see. They all conceded and made the asshole boss.
    This proves that you don’t have to be a brain to be boss…
    Just an Asshole.
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  20. #19  
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    Quote Originally Posted by wegs View Post
    A sign of a confident manager, is the ability to hire competent people and trust them with the roles you have placed them in, without criticizing their every move. Managers who do this, honestly undermine productivity.
    Wait! Wait! No Comprende! A confident manager is good, but undermines productivity? That's how I read it, but is that what you meant? (I'm still a little slow at this English business!) jocular
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  21. #20  
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    Quote Originally Posted by wegs View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by babe View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by skeptic View Post
    some years ago, i did a range of aptitude tests (given to all the senior people in the company i worked for). My most developed talent, according to those tests, was what they called "critical decision making", which was the ability to make decisions based on rational, fact based criteria, rather than emotional logic.

    This, of course, primed me to notice those occasions when senior managers made decisions based on emotion and on non rational elements. Of course, such observations were really, really frequent. A few short years later, i went into business for myself (successfully) and i am sure that a big reason was my developing contempt for irrational managers.

    Couple of observations.
    - the frequency with which managers ask subordinates to carry out tasks, like writing reports, which waste time and produce nothing.
    - the tendency for managers to reward those people who suck up to them, rather than those more competent people who simply do the job well.
    - the tendency to make decisons based on wishful thinking rather than on the hard data available to them. Like where to invest more money.

    What have you guys seen? Tendencies to do what is irrational rather than what is smart?
    i have been self-employed for a long time and my husband also.

    I think managers need to learn proper delegation. Micromanaging is not a good thing in most business situations.
    most micromanagers that i've had the misfortune of working with/for, i always thought were insecure, deep down. A sign of a confident manager, is the ability to hire competent people and trust them with the roles you have placed them in, without criticizing their every move. Managers who do this, honestly undermine productivity.
    absolutely!
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  22. #21  
    Universal Mind John Galt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by babe View Post
    A sign of a confident manager, is the ability to hire competent people and trust them with the roles you have placed them in, without criticizing their every move. Managers who do this, honestly undermine productivity.
    absolutely!
    This might appear sensible, but at best it is the style of a mediocre manager and creates an underperforming work force.

    Consider a two axes chart divided into four quadrants. The X-axis is Task oriented, the Y-axis is relationship oriented. The micro-manager would spend all his time in the lower right hand quadrant - high on task orientation, low on relationship orientation.

    What the observations, thus far, have failed to address is that this is exactly what is required for an individual who is new to the job, or new to the current aspect of the job they are engaged in. As their ability in this area grows the manager increases relationship content and eases off on the task orientation, moving to the upper right quadrant, then the upper left and - for the very experienced, confident employee - the lower left. This approach ensures each individual gets the exact amount of management they need at that time. They do not feel micro-managed, or hung out to dry.

    Anyone interested in this approach should look for works by Hersey and Blanchard.
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  23. #22  
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    Quote Originally Posted by John Galt View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by babe View Post
    A sign of a confident manager, is the ability to hire competent people and trust them with the roles you have placed them in, without criticizing their every move. Managers who do this, honestly undermine productivity.
    absolutely!
    This might appear sensible, but at best it is the style of a mediocre manager and creates an underperforming work force.

    Consider a two axes chart divided into four quadrants. The X-axis is Task oriented, the Y-axis is relationship oriented. The micro-manager would spend all his time in the lower right hand quadrant - high on task orientation, low on relationship orientation.

    What the observations, thus far, have failed to address is that this is exactly what is required for an individual who is new to the job, or new to the current aspect of the job they are engaged in. As their ability in this area grows the manager increases relationship content and eases off on the task orientation, moving to the upper right quadrant, then the upper left and - for the very experienced, confident employee - the lower left. This approach ensures each individual gets the exact amount of management they need at that time. They do not feel micro-managed, or hung out to dry.

    Anyone interested in this approach should look for works by Hersey and Blanchard.
    Well expressed. I was going to say that being "micro-managed" can be a matter of perception, but you beat me to it.

    P.S. when you have a minute I'd be really interested in your advice re my thread on Corsica - you may be the one person on this forum equipped to answer it.
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  24. #23  
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    Quote Originally Posted by babe View Post
    Happy we don't follow those goal lines.
    WE want people who can learn to RUN a business.....takes a person about 10-15 years to be considered for a partner position, but that is by contribution and achievement
    I don't know what business you run but:
    Are you saying you want ALL your people to learn how to run a business?
    Don't you want people who want to work at the "coal face"?

    Why in the world would you want stupid management, or am I missing something here?
    Nobody wants stupid management, but the promotion ladder tends to move people up from previous positions and those that are good at their job tend to be so because they enjoy doing it: and don't want to be moved up into what is a different job altogether 1.
    On the other hand those that aren't so good at doing their job, or those who "merely" want to climb the promotion ladder for its own sake, tend to invest a lot of time into getting noticed 2 and making sure they're prospects for that promotion. I.e. we had managers who were promoted because they wanted to be promoted, not because they wanted to be managers 3.

    1 Every year I had this fight. My company adopted the practise of annual assessments and one standard question was "What are your future ambitions?". No-one seemed to understand that I wasn't looking for, and would not accept, under any circumstance, being shifted "upward" into a management role. I developed the stock answer of "Nothing you'd recognise as an ambition".
    2 For example there was one guy who was, at best, just competent at his job (at worst... well, let's just leave it at that), who deliberately spent a large of his day running from one end of the building to another with bundles of paper while complaining loudly about how over worked he was. And then he'd stay behind (earning over time!) every night to get his daily work finished. He was held up as an example of how I should be operating. For some reason pointing out that I got my work done in time for me to leave at 5 every night was seen as "not the attitude we're looking for". That guy is now a manager...
    3 As far as these people were/ are concerned being recognised and getting promotion was what counted, not doing an actual job.
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  25. #24  
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    Quote Originally Posted by jocular View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by wegs View Post
    A sign of a confident manager, is the ability to hire competent people and trust them with the roles you have placed them in, without criticizing their every move. Managers who do this, honestly undermine productivity.
    Wait! Wait! No Comprende! A confident manager is good, but undermines productivity? That's how I read it, but is that what you meant? (I'm still a little slow at this English business!) jocular
    haha oops, I meant to put the word 'don't.' Not 'do.' Managers who don't do this, undermine productivity. I could have elaborated a bit more to say that managers who don't trust those that are working for them, and micromanage them therefore, undermine productivity. You are correct; that made little sense how I posted it the first time
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  26. #25  
    Forum Radioactive Isotope skeptic's Avatar
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    On productivity.

    A motivated worker produces more.

    How do you motivate a worker?
    In fact, it is easier to demotivate someone than to motivate them. You can demotivate by under-paying someone, or otherwise showing they are not appreciated. The biggest demotivator is criticism. Managers who are into criticising people, are demotivating them, and hence reducing their productivity. Often a person who is unproductive gets sacked. But the real fault is a crappy manager who demotivates.

    How do you motivate, instead of demotivating?
    Not too difficult. The most motivating thing is positive feedback. A good manager will watch the workers, looking for them to do something right, not something wrong. When the worker does something right, the manager praises him/her. That workers feels good, and wants to receive the praise again, and feel good again. As a result he/she will try harder, so that the praise comes again.

    The manager who shows appreciation of the worker's efforts, who praises, and gives positive and enthusiastic feed-back, will get motivated, productive workers, and personal loyalty. The manager who criticises, is destructive.
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  27. #26  
    ...matter and pixie dust wegs's Avatar
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    Companies need more leaders, less 'managers.' Leaders are those who motivate and know how to inspire. They themselves are inspiring to their staff. Leaders get their staff to manage themselves, you want to work for a leader and earn their respect.While we have all attended I'm sure, "leadership skills" courses, true leaders just seem to have a natural knack for it.Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, Warren Buffet...they all come to mind when I think of awesome "leaders."
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    Quote Originally Posted by skeptic View Post
    - snip -
    Quote Originally Posted by wegs View Post
    - snip -
    Where's the "WTF" button?
    Is that how people operate?
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  29. #28  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dywyddyr View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by skeptic View Post
    - snip -
    Quote Originally Posted by wegs View Post
    - snip -
    Where's the "WTF" button?Is that how people operate?
    Don't be so...snippy. :-PP
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    Quote Originally Posted by wegs View Post
    Don't be so...snippy. :-PP
    I'm not.
    I was just thinking back... if ever my boss had said "Well done" my first thought would have been "How the f*ck do you know?"
    The second one would have been "Give me a difficult problem and/ or f*ck off".
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dywyddyr View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by wegs View Post
    Don't be so...snippy. :-PP
    I'm not.
    I was just thinking back... if ever my boss had said "Well done" my first thought would have been "How the f*ck do you know?"
    The second one would have been "Give me a difficult problem and/ or f*ck off".
    I find that very sad. If a person cannot gain some pleasure from being praised, there is something seriously wrong. And I do not mean something wrong with the person doing the praising.
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    What's sadder is I made a joke and no one laughed.Duck posted "snip" in place of my post and yours. And I said...don't be snippy. Good grief. :/
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dywyddyr View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by wegs View Post
    Don't be so...snippy. :-PP
    I'm not.I was just thinking back... if ever my boss had said "Well done" my first thought would have been "How the f*ck do you know?"The second one would have been "Give me a difficult problem and/ or f*ck off".
    Positive feedback isn't a bad thing, you know.IF it is genuine of course.
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    Wegs

    My apology.
    I did laugh at your joke. After preaching about the need for positive feed-back, not commenting means my arse needs kicking.

    Ouch!

    (Self administered)
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    Quote Originally Posted by skeptic View Post
    WegsMy apology.I did laugh at your joke. After preaching about the need for positive feed-back, not commenting means my arse needs kicking.Ouch!(Self administered)
    No worries...you are forgiven. On another note...sometimes we are hard on ourselves more than others. Maybe that is why it can be difficult to accept a compliment, at times.
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  36. #35  
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    Quote Originally Posted by skeptic View Post
    I find that very sad. If a person cannot gain some pleasure from being praised, there is something seriously wrong. And I do not mean something wrong with the person doing the praising.
    Er, why should I require praise?
    I did that job because it interested me.
    I got to solve puzzles, "beat the system" and invent new stuff.
    How do accolades from idiots improve on that?

    (Apologies: I missed the joke too...).
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    Well, sometimes...the boss who's showering his staff with accolades, it can be mere sincerity and just being gracious in accepting the praise, is fine.

    BUT...it can be a tad bit insulting when you feel that your boss isn't as talented as you, and yet is your "superior.". So, good point. Not all praise is special. I would agree there.
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  38. #37  
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    being the boss

    damned lot if work of done well.
    Some just don't cut it.

    A mechanic knows his/her tools, knows what they do well and what they are worthless for. You do not use a saw to pound a nail.
    A boss's tools are people, learning what they do do well, and what they are weak at is a full time job. Add in understanding how best to communicate with them, is another full time job. And then , there is the task at hand which is another full time job.
    Being the "boss" really sux.
    Those precious few who do it well are a real treat to anyone interacting with that particular crew.
    I've occasionally had to train "bosses" from a supposed position of inferiority. And, have occasionally lost "job positions" by making decisions which the "boss" should have made. Some people just don't want their insecurity brought up to the level of the obvious.
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  39. #38  
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    Quote Originally Posted by wegs View Post
    BUT...it can be a tad bit insulting when you feel that your boss isn't as talented as you, and yet is your "superior."
    No "insult" noticed.
    I didn't expect him to be (in that particular employment no-one was "as talented" as me), but he wasn't qualified 1 to judge my work.

    1 Oh, he probably had bits of paper saying he was "qualified", but what certificates say and what people are actually capable of can be two very different things. This was a guy that stopped an engineering discussion because his mouse mat was the "wrong size". The mouse had reached the edge of the mat but the pointer was only half-way across the screen.
    adelady and sculptor like this.
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  40. #39  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dywyddyr View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by wegs View Post
    BUT...it can be a tad bit insulting when you feel that your boss isn't as talented as you, and yet is your "superior."
    No "insult" noticed.
    I didn't expect him to be (in that particular employment no-one was "as talented" as me), but he wasn't qualified 1 to judge my work.

    1 Oh, he probably had bits of paper saying he was "qualified", but what certificates say and what people are actually capable of can be two very different things. This was a guy that stopped an engineering discussion because his mouse mat was the "wrong size". The mouse had reached the edge of the mat but the pointer was only half-way across the screen.
    I hope you are joking.
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    No.
    It was all round the office within 5 minutes "The idiot's done it again..."
    The same guy also insisted, loudly and repeatedly, that a handle on a piece of equipment be made heavier: so that, when released, it would "fall faster".
    It was pointed out to him that Galileo has proved that all objects fall at the same rate (yes, with caveats - ones that don't apply when evevrything under consideration is a lump of stainless steel) and he replied "Yes, I'm fully aware of that, I'm not stupid. But it stands to reason that if the handle is heavier it will fall faster".
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  42. #41  
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    how on earth did he get into a mgmt role?
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    Probably the Dilbert Principle.
    Move him out of any job where he has to produce something.

    An even "better" one was when the firm forced everyone in the drawing office to switch to salaried positions (fixed wage, no overtime pay) but with the agreement that there was (15 hr/ month from memory) upper limit to overtime that would be requested. It was also explicitly stated that ideally we should not work overtime unless directly requested to do so - so that when we had a "rush job" (not uinusual) everyone was available to put the hours in.
    This particular guy went to management meetings and declared TWICE in two months that his department was not only the only department in the entire firm to have worked the full allotment of overtime, but that he'd made us do it in the first two weeks of each month.
    The idea that O/T was supposed to be "reserved" for emergencies escaped him completely, despite him having been at every single meeting during the negotiation and introduction of the scheme and also having been taken to one side by the managing director to have it explained AGAIN after the first month's fiasco.

    And people wondered why I called him a "mental defective" to his face...
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  44. #43  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dywyddyr View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by babe View Post
    Happy we don't follow those goal lines.
    WE want people who can learn to RUN a business.....takes a person about 10-15 years to be considered for a partner position, but that is by contribution and achievement
    I don't know what business you run but:
    Are you saying you want ALL your people to learn how to run a business?
    Don't you want people who want to work at the "coal face"?

    Why in the world would you want stupid management, or am I missing something here?
    Nobody wants stupid management, but the promotion ladder tends to move people up from previous positions and those that are good at their job tend to be so because they enjoy doing it: and don't want to be moved up into what is a different job altogether 1.
    On the other hand those that aren't so good at doing their job, or those who "merely" want to climb the promotion ladder for its own sake, tend to invest a lot of time into getting noticed 2 and making sure they're prospects for that promotion. I.e. we had managers who were promoted because they wanted to be promoted, not because they wanted to be managers 3.

    1 Every year I had this fight. My company adopted the practise of annual assessments and one standard question was "What are your future ambitions?". No-one seemed to understand that I wasn't looking for, and would not accept, under any circumstance, being shifted "upward" into a management role. I developed the stock answer of "Nothing you'd recognise as an ambition".
    2 For example there was one guy who was, at best, just competent at his job (at worst... well, let's just leave it at that), who deliberately spent a large of his day running from one end of the building to another with bundles of paper while complaining loudly about how over worked he was. And then he'd stay behind (earning over time!) every night to get his daily work finished. He was held up as an example of how I should be operating. For some reason pointing out that I got my work done in time for me to leave at 5 every night was seen as "not the attitude we're looking for". That guy is now a manager...
    3 As far as these people were/ are concerned being recognised and getting promotion was what counted, not doing an actual job.
    Have more than one.

    We have people who have no desire to do anything but work at a desk.

    We also have people we brought in specifically with advancement in mind.

    We have achieved, but along the way, we, of course, made our share of errors. You learn every day in business.

    I can assure you we have seen all manner of employees, though I do not with to say what our business is, and the structure is a bit different than the norm. It is run VERY efficiently, and though not micro-managed, as the term I have heard is "we run a tight ship", and we are well respected.

    Let's just let it suffice, Mr. Ducky, that most all of our employees who start with us, either retire or die with us. We also have retirees, who request to come back for 2 days a week, and we also try to accommodate them. Our standards are high.

    I do understand the thoughts and experience presented, as always Sir Ducky.
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    Quote Originally Posted by John Galt View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by babe View Post
    A sign of a confident manager, is the ability to hire competent people and trust them with the roles you have placed them in, without criticizing their every move. Managers who do this, honestly undermine productivity.
    absolutely!
    This might appear sensible, but at best it is the style of a mediocre manager and creates an underperforming work force.

    Consider a two axes chart divided into four quadrants. The X-axis is Task oriented, the Y-axis is relationship oriented. The micro-manager would spend all his time in the lower right hand quadrant - high on task orientation, low on relationship orientation.

    What the observations, thus far, have failed to address is that this is exactly what is required for an individual who is new to the job, or new to the current aspect of the job they are engaged in. As their ability in this area grows the manager increases relationship content and eases off on the task orientation, moving to the upper right quadrant, then the upper left and - for the very experienced, confident employee - the lower left. This approach ensures each individual gets the exact amount of management they need at that time. They do not feel micro-managed, or hung out to dry.

    Anyone interested in this approach should look for works by Hersey and Blanchard.
    Well said.
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  46. #45  
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    I am more with Dy on this one.
    A good manager doesn't waste my time - and this requires very little effort.
    Normally, all they need to do is keep their mouth shut. I can motivate myself.

    IMO, a bad manager is not measured by their positive actions (or lack of) but by their negative actions.

    When a manager starts telling me to do somethng stupid despite evidence of how stupid it is, then it's time to get a new job.
    Or when a manager starts micro-managing me, that also tells me to leave.
    (I once had a manager ask me when I was going to make up for the hour I was at the opticians. I asked him if the 30 hours of unpaid overtime I had done that month would cover it. Obviously, I left that place asap.)

    So, to summarise: I can work with managers that contribute little; I can't work with them if they actively make things worse.
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    Or when a manager starts micro-managing me, that also tells me to leave.
    Tell me about it. One thing that left me completely gobsmacked as a union rep was an unusual complaint from a member about a manager. This person said that you couldn't respect this person, or any other manager, unless they'd shown that they could do all the tasks of all the jobs in the area. I couldn't imagine anything worse than a manager whose greatest virtue was being able to do everything from filing to booking travel to reviewing court / tribunal decisions. And then fit in budgeting, staff development, counselling, training and resource allocation somewhere in their spare time.

    What most of us wanted was someone who'd listen when the people who really knew what the job required needed advice, resources, assistance or whatever.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dywyddyr View Post
    Probably the Dilbert Principle.
    Move him out of any job where he has to produce something.

    An even "better" one was when the firm forced everyone in the drawing office to switch to salaried positions (fixed wage, no overtime pay) but with the agreement that there was (15 hr/ month from memory) upper limit to overtime that would be requested. It was also explicitly stated that ideally we should not work overtime unless directly requested to do so - so that when we had a "rush job" (not uinusual) everyone was available to put the hours in.
    This particular guy went to management meetings and declared TWICE in two months that his department was not only the only department in the entire firm to have worked the full allotment of overtime, but that he'd made us do it in the first two weeks of each month.
    The idea that O/T was supposed to be "reserved" for emergencies escaped him completely, despite him having been at every single meeting during the negotiation and introduction of the scheme and also having been taken to one side by the managing director to have it explained AGAIN after the first month's fiasco.

    And people wondered why I called him a "mental defective" to his face...
    I don't think I could've worked for someone like this...Sounds pretty dreadful, actually. I've worked for horrible managers, albeit they managed horribly in a different way. About ten years ago, I worked for a company whereby the guy I reported to basically thought he had a license to sexually harass all of the women who worked 'under' him, including me. Ugh, I could not respect this man...he eventually was terminated for his actions. (truth in numbers, after a while, they couldn't ignore ALL of us complaining about him) I think back to him as I post this, and the minute I met him, (he replaced a prior boss I had at that time)...I knew he was going to be useless to the company. His sexual jokes and womanizing comments...ugh. I honestly don't think he did a lick of work. lol He just walked around disrupting me and the rest of the female staff all day...I really do try to give people the benefit of the doubt, but I still have to respect my boss, or it's going to be a tough time for me to remain with such an employer. But, in my experience, 'bad' managers usually don't last too long, so it's sometimes worth waiting it out, if you enjoy your role, and like the employer.
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  49. #48  
    Genius Duck Moderator Dywyddyr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wegs View Post
    But, in my experience, 'bad' managers usually don't last too long, so it's sometimes worth waiting it out, if you enjoy your role, and like the employer.
    Oh, they not only kept this one they brought him back as a contracting consultant after he took voluntary redundancy.

    And I'm not even going to describe the "best" example of micromanagement I've seen - I could never work out if I wanted to slap that "manager" or the guy that promoted him.
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    I am just grateful to be self-employed.......though *L* Directors are managers too!
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