Got Bad Managers?

Raise your hand if you know a bad manager.

I can’t see the raised hands, but I know they are there.

Some of you are holding them up high. You shot those hands up as soon as you read my prompt. “Yes!” is what you’re saying aloud. “Yes! I know a bad manager!”

Some of you have those hands up, yet you’re sheepishly raising them. I’m guessing you’re at your “desk”–the kitchen, living room, or family room table–and you are cautiously raising your hand, wondering if anyone else can see you admitting to the truth: you know bad managers. You’re thinking, “Oh, no, don’t remind me about that. Ugh, yes, we have bad managers. I know bad managers.”

I can’t see you and your raised hands, but here’s the deal:

Other people see the bad managers.

They feel the burden of working with bad managers.

They feel the frustration, anger, and sadness of working for bad managers.

Poor leaders. Difficult leaders. Bad leaders. Incompetent leaders. Call them what you like.

You’ve all met them. You’ve all worked with them. And maybe you’ve also worked for them.

OK, here’s my next and more important prompt for you.

Raise your hand if you have a plan in place to coach those bad managers or remove them.

Again, I can’t see the hands, and I am pretty sure just a few of them are raised.

It’s easy to know a bad manager. It’s not easy to develop a plan for that bad manager.

I want to help you figure this out. Right now.

I’ll start with why this is a problem: why bad managers happen.

Here’s the answer: undermanagement. (I’m still deciding to hyphenate or not that “new” word.)

You are not managing them enough. You are undermanaging these people.

Think about the trite excuse many people use to ready to break up with someone: “It’s not you. It’s me.”

That fits perfectly here.

This is not about them. It’s not about the bad managers. It’s about you.

You and your company are not managing enough.

You need to identify and effectively manage these managers.

I know you mean well. I know you do. And . . . you’re undermanaging.  

Yes, yes, I get it: there is so much to do. Things are so unpredictable, the pandemic is dragging on, it’s time for annual performance reviews, you have new products to launch, you have to keep this company afloat, you have to hire and onboard remotely, you have to implement new safety guidelines as you open back up, you’re struggling to work and homeschool at the same time . . .

I get it.

And those bad managers at your company are preventing you from doing those things or doing them well.

I’ve coached thousands of managers, and I’ve met some really poor managers.

These managers:

  • cause turnover of top performers,
  • fail to set realistic and tangible goals,
  • don’t delegate or they dump everything off their plates in an indiscriminate way,
  • avoid giving constructive feedback and any situation that has a hint of conflict, and
  • they create a toxic workplace that is literally killing people.

I’m not exaggerating. I’ve known that in my gut for a long time, and Jeffrey Pfeffer’s book about the ills managers create is a must-read: Dying for a Paycheck:  How Modern Management Harms Employee Health and Company Performance—and What We Can Do About It). That link goes to Amazon, but if you’d like to support an indie shop instead, you can get it here.

OK, one more prompt. Hands up if you’re ready to do something about this.

Great! Let’s do something about this.

I invite you to sign up for the February 17, 2021 Awesome Leader webinar titled, “Managers Behaving Badly”.

During this free webinar, you will learn about:

  1. The 3 groups bad managers fall into.
  2. How to turn around bad managers: the mistakes and the best practices.
  3. The BAD coaching framework I use to help bad managers. (BAD stands for Behaviors, Accountability, and Decisions.)

One week prior to the webinar, I’ll send you a short workbook to help you plan to tackle those bad managers. So you’ll have details ready to make the most of the webinar.

Stop undermanaging. (Please!) And, by the way, stop making excuses for them (great HBR article!).

Join me on February 17 at 8 am PT/11 am ET/4 pm GTM for this webinar.

I’m passionate about helping teams train their people managers, and this will be a great webinar.

Need EQ or Goals Training Now?

Here are some coupons so you can watch my EQ or Goal Setting workshops on Udemy for free.

This link and the code JANUARY-EQ-FREE gives unlimited access (as many people as you want) to my EQ workshop. It expires January 30 at 8 pm PT. This link and the code JANUARY-GOALS-FREE gives unlimited access (as many people as you want) to my EQ workshop. It expires January 30 at 8 pm PT.

Dogs, Cats, Raccoons, Donkeys, Parakeets . . .
Fergus the Corgi (see photo below) is over the moon (and turned upside) to welcome pets back to the White House.
For him, it’s a personal victory because President Biden’s dogs are both German Shepards, who, like Corgis, are part of the working dog category.
Are you laughing? Corgis really are working dogs!
The Biden’s dogs, Champ and Major, join a long and distinguished history of dogs in the White House.Anyway, pets help you stay healthy, and that is something we all need now: good health. Even the CDC has figured out that pets can help us be healthier, though they don’t seem to have done any research on how pets keep us sane during pandemic lockdowns.

I hope to see you on February 17 for my webinar about bad managers.

Lead with ease,

PS Here’s a great piece on the costs of bad management, by Mark Allen, PhD at Pepperdine’s Graziadio School of Business. Read it and then sign up for the webinar.