Wednesday, June 30, 2010


So much for preparation!

Leadership Not to Do

In this world of telecommuting, doing more with less including more work with less people or covering more territory with less reps, nothing hurts more than a leader who would choose to cancel a planned meeting the night before without a viable explanation. 

The leader needs to realize the preparation the team makes to arrive at the meeting ready to participate - whether it is spending time (sometimes hours) preparing reports, consolidating notes, developing presentations, travelling and finding accomodations.  All of the preparation goes for naught and the respect for the leader drops notches at a time! 

A leader needs to foresight and discipline to visualize his/her team and understand the pressure they live with to perform above and beyond expectations.  Once the leader can see this clearly, they can also capitalize on the evolving relationship and the developing mutual respect.

What to do if this happens?  Clearly express to the leader your disappointment and provide the notes prepared for the meeting so that you can ensure that they understand the importance of your participation.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Hang Them Out to Dry

This leader asks his team member for advice and then takes the advice, applies it and when it does not work, hangs them out to dry saying 'team member X told me to do it'.

What to do?  Remind the boss that they asked for advice, it was their decision to act on it.  You should not have to take the fall for your boss - they are in that role to absorb what comes at them no matter where they sought advice.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

The Micro-Micro Manager

Hi!  Nice to meet you.  I am your boss.  I want to know your schedule for every second of every day.  In fact, you will grant me administrative access to your Outlook so that I can see your schedule whenever I want.  I can then call and check up on you, verify if you actually show up, just keep tabs on you. Also, just a warning, I will freak out if you change what you are working on for the day and don't record it.  I won't be there to see it, and it won't impact me in the slightest, I just need to be the one in control and you need to cater to my every whim!  I am the BOSS! Oh, and by the way, that will also give me access to your emails.  I'll read them too, especially if there is anything interesting from your spouse (like what to pick up for dinner or your weekend plans, hey, maybe I can join you or plan a meeting that will ruin it!) or team-mate banter (to make sure I am not the brunt of jokes or general discussion - no fun allowed.  I do not have a sense of humor that anyone but me would understand!).  At least then I can be in the loop and know everything about you! Have a nice first day at work.
Your Boss

Have you had this message or scenario played out in your world?  What would you do?

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Wednesday, June 9, 2010

The Shield

The Shield to Hide Behind?


The Shield to Hide Under?

Which Leader Do You Know?

This leader uses the title as a shield and to wield power.  They believe that standing behind (or underneath) the title they hold, makes their people cower in their boots and jump to attention.  Sometimes this leader uses their boss's title to attempt to get results or deflect decision-making elsewhere, especially in the case of unpopular choices. 

For example, take Ms. Regional Manager.  She has just informed the team that they will need to work on Saturdays.  She realizes that this change will be unpopular so decided to state that "I, and the VP agrees with me, have decided that everyone needs to work Saturdays."  In stating the decision in this fashion, Ms. Regional Manager has deflected some of the decision-making to the VP so that she is not alone being the supposed 'bad guy' in this scenario.

What should you do?  If a leader is constantly hiding behind or under a shield be up-front and ask questions specific to the matter and how the leader feels about the situation.  Focus on them, re-direct focus to the leader if they try to escape the concern.

Also - in the scenario sure to ask specific questions about which other day you will be entitled to receive as a day off.  How this is being scheduled and paid, especially if an unsalaried worker?  Get a complete explanation of the reason for this action, when it will start, when it will end or will it be a new and permanent condition of employment.

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Thursday, June 3, 2010


The leader should not publicly complain (via email to the whole team or in a group meeting) that they could not reach team member because they were in church on at Sunday at 9:30 am! Talk about expecting 24/7 availability.

What to do about it?  Talk to the leader in person and explain that this is your time for yourself and request that they do not seek you out at this time.

This is a situation where you would hope that if the leader has a coach, they would step in and assist with the tactics the leader is currently using to get results.

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