Thursday, March 3, 2016

Five Things Weak Managers Do Instead Of Leading

The Little Black Book of Billionaire Secrets

Five Things Weak Managers Do Instead Of Leading

I write about bringing life to work and bringing work to life.
I was a Fortune 500 HR SVP for ten million years, but I was an opera singer before I ever heard the term HR. The higher I got in the corporate world, the more operatic the action became. I started writing about the workplace for the Chicago Sun-Times in 1997, but it took me ages to find my own voice. Now I write for the Huffington Post, Business Week, LinkedIn, the Harvard Business Review, the Denver Post and and lead the worldwide Human Workplace movement to reinvent work for people. Stop by and join us:

Just having the title “Manager” doesn’t make you a leader. Unfortunately, there are plenty of people in management positions who don’t know how to lead. They drag their teammates down by picking at them over tiny things instead of inspiring them to greater heights.
It’s a sad situation, and if you find yourself working for someone who can’t mentor you to keep learning, you may want to think about getting a different job.
The job market is heating up dramatically. Employers are fighting over talent. At the bottom of this column you’ll find links to articles about how to job-hunt effectively in this new-millennium workplace.
Here are five things lousy managers do when they should be leading and inspiring their teams:
They watch people do their work.

We have to feel some compassion for managers who don’t know what their job is. Lots of people get thrown into management jobs without training or support. They don’t know what to do, so they watch their team members do their jobs, and it’s oppressive.
I remember one boss standing over me while I composed a newsletter for our sales force. She stood behind me as I typed paragraphs onto the screen and she edited my work in real time. Talk about overbearing! Poor managers who don’t have anything more significant to do may decide their time is best spent watching and criticizing their teammates while they work.

They kiss up to bigger bosses.
One of the easiest ways to spot a manager who doesn’t understand leadership is to watch them with their own boss. Good managers tell the truth to their higher-ups because they assume they were hired for their brains and their opinions. Poor managers don’t tell the truth. They tell their boss whatever they think their boss wants to hear.

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They make pronouncements, establish rules and hand down punishments to make sure everyone knows they’re in charge.
Poor managers boss people around. They spend time dreaming up  new rules and restrictions to make sure that their team members know who’s in charge. The problem is that the more rules and restrictions you put on people, the more you slow them down! The more you trust your capable staff, the better everyone will feel and thus perform in their jobs.
They make their subordinates listen as they pontificate.
I worked for a horrible manager who find new and creative ways to torture me and me co-workers every day. One of his favorite things to do was to come over to my cubicle and lecture me while I was working. He pontificated, railing on about his views on life and leadership for my benefit. I gritted my teeth and tried to get my work done while he literally breathed down my neck. Good managers give people room to breathe. They have their own work to keep them busy!
They micro-manage.
The last item on our list is one that lousy managers are famous for: micro-managing! You’ll know you’ve got a micro-manager to deal with when your supervisor tells you to copy him or her on every email message you sent out, or instructs you not to talk to a certain person without his or her permission. A micro-manager doesn’t trust himself or herself to let people do their jobs.
They have to watch their team members like a hawk, because they don’t believe that people can do their jobs capably without close supervision. Micro-managers are fearful. They can’t inspire their teammates because they are mired in fear.
If you have a micro-manager on your back, don’t get mad. He or she can’t help it! Take an extra minute to fill your manager in on your plans and update them on your progress every chance you get until your micro-manager begins to back off and relax. Most of them will get there eventually. You will grow new muscles in the process of getting your micro-manager out of your business, and your customers will benefit!
Liz Ryan is the CEO and founder of Human Workplace. Follow her on Twitter and read the rest of her columns here.

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