The Anti-Stephen Covey Guide to Managing Your Team:
- More interested in requesting numerous reports on ongoing projects than actually completing a project. This habit is often exhibited by avid Excel spreadsheet enthusiasts. Categorizing tables by column headings is one of their most private, happiest endeavors.
- Blame is always only one employee away. Highly ineffective managers do a great job of dodging bullets by placing blame on their subordinate employee or vendor. It’s a difficult habit to master, but once you’re past the guilt and self-loathing that comes with not owning your own faults, you’ll pick it up in no time.
- Fierce concentration and focus on unrelated details. For example, let’s say your online sales numbers are down. What better way to address this issue than focusing on your in-store retail sales numbers? See the disconnect? It works. The trick is finding a problem elsewhere in your organization so that the original problem is easily ignored.
- Inability to see a project from beginning to end. Stop with the follow-through already! If you are serious about becoming ineffective, there is no need to follow through on any given project. If it’s important enough, somebody else will pick it up; and if it’s not important, why waste your time trying to bring it to fruition?
- Hire quickly and hire often. An ineffective manager doesn’t just mislead his own team, he keeps his hiring practice initiatives quick and without thought. Most likely, the soon-to-be-hired employee is going to quit anyway, so don’t squander time away zeroing in on the right employee. Spending multiple interviews getting to know the person, doing background checks, finding out if they fit both professionally and personally are all just time-sucks—time that could be used updating your LinkedIn profile.
- Interrupt your employees regularly and without warning. There are all kinds of ways to make this happen: impromptu meetings smack in the middle of the day, casual drop-bys to their office or cubicle to discuss your latest eBay finds, or maybe call them to your office without any given agenda. As a manager, it’s your responsibility to keep your employees in line and slightly on-guard at all times. Making them stop what they’re doing to attend to you is a great way to exert your power while keeping them on their toes.
- Stop listening. Paying attention to your employees ideas, wants, professional goals, or general comments is a ridiculous waste of time. If they had anything real to offer, they wouldn’t be below you on the corporate food ladder anyway. Every now and then an employee may say something worthwhile; if so, stick it away and use it whenever you find yourself on the line with your supervisor. If you wait long enough to use their idea, you’ll probably forget where it came from anyway so it won’t at all be like stealing!