See this guy? He was a manger of a fairly big operation. Quite successful too (if you judge success on cajoling people into coughing up their dough and making shady deals… which some of you might).
The problem with his management style was the “success at all costs to everyone else” approach, which ultimately and ironically cost him everything.
Two questions every manager ought to consistently ask themselves:
1. What is my motivation for doing what I’m about to do?
2. What might the consequences be on everyone around me, and then back on myself?
I know, you think that you are no different than Al Capone. But doing business with people has taught me that time and time again, we let the ends justify the means.
And when people get into tight situations, they tend to move towards short-term actions that save the career, the reputation, the finances, etc.
This is why we keep saying that clear purpose and values in organizations are so important. They give members a handrail to grab onto when decision-making gets stressed. They provide clarity where there may not otherwise be such. They also provide a handrail for those moments when nobody is looking. They’ll never replace personal character, but they sure can help a soul with good intentions.
What this Means to You:
For managers of front-line staff, beware of shutting down contributions, imposing policies and constraining action in favor of maintaining your own semblance of control (i.e. satisfying your own internal needs and validations, making yourself look-good at the expense of organizational purpose, etc.).
For senior managers at the strategic apex, be careful of making the entire organization work for your personal gain (i.e. serving yourself at the expense of the entire organization. Think Enron, not just Capone). Avoid the assumption that those below you are of less capacity or lower social structure.
If you are not careful, you will find yourself bereaved of organization and influence, and left with your head in your hands. Let’s just hope it’s still attached to your neck.
So, here’s the list of the Top 10 Managers You Don’t Want to Be like.Photo: Wikimedia Commons