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Better Bosses Needed Expand / Collapse
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Posted Sunday, July 29, 2012 4:35 AM


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Post #1336981
Posted Sunday, July 29, 2012 10:12 PM


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MBA programs have received a lot of criticism http://harvardmagazine.com/harvard-in-the-news/call-to-reform-m-b-a-degrees in recent years given that the GFC was essentially an MBA led recession.

There has been significant push back from particular student groups, e.g. Harvard business students to develop an MBA "Oath" somewhat like the hippocratic oath to try and govern the way managers behave and turn "management" into a profession. http://www.mbaintheusa.com/analyzing-the-idea-behind-the-mba-oath/

My own recent experiences with the MBA are that professors are taking a deep interest in this and trying to turn out graduates who behave with integrity and humanity rather that being cold and calculating like the managers we've all experienced, simultaneously minimizing your salary and maximizing their bonus.

The key takeaway for me was that as a manager you will inevitably be called upon to do nasty deeds. That in itself is not the key, what is important is how you behave about it and to always ensure you treat people with dignity.

Tony Hayward, the ex BP CEO, after the Oil Rig catastrophe famously said that he wanted "his life back". Right there is an example of how not to behave with dignity and integrity.

I'm encouraged by the universities assuming responsibility for the type of managers they are churning out, but also dismayed by some of the students I've collaborated with who are clearly in it for the money. Hopefully increased accountability will make a difference.
Post #1337054
Posted Monday, July 30, 2012 1:51 AM


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Those that survive, or perhaps thrive, get promoted.

An interesting observation there Steve. Unfortunately I've seen too many examples where bad managers are promoted to get them out of the position they're in. Those that are good at their jobs are held there and not given the opportunity to move on to bigger and better things. Of course, this is usually because of the bad boss at the helm, a culture that has developed over time, or the fact that it is too much hassle to sack someone.

All too often I find those that please their boss are promoted

How very true, and in respect of what I've mentioned above, they are simply able to survive despite their incompetence. It's one of the reasons I left my previous employment as I just found it too frustrating.
Post #1337095
Posted Monday, July 30, 2012 3:28 AM


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Having managed teams of variouse types for over 10 years I feel that to be a manager you but need to follow a few simple rules.

Never expect anyone do do something that you would never be prepared to do yourself

and

Lead by example


Set a good example in the workforce and get a good result, set a bad example and you get a shit and unhappy workforce. I have seen too many bad managers who follow the rule; do as i say not as i do.

remember 1 person can not let a team down however, a team can let one person down :)

A happy worker is a good worker an unhappy worker will just leave :)


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Post #1337129
Posted Monday, July 30, 2012 4:10 AM
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The worst bosses I've had (a good boss is extremely rare), were promoted because they talked the loudest, and bragged the hardest, and took credit for things that weren't there's. The good bosses just do their job, and give credit to the person who actually did the work. It seems like the qualities that will get you promoted are the qualities that make a bad boss. The egotistical, narcissistic, qualities that get the employee noticed as a "leader" who is worthy of promotion are the qualities that make someone a bad boss. We reward the loud mouth, selfish, morally questionable people with promotions.

And even when upper management is well aware that talent is running from their company, they leave the bad bosses in place. They would rather sacrifice 100 top notch employees than remove one bad boss.
Post #1337148
Posted Monday, July 30, 2012 6:22 AM
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Things needed to increase the next generation towards being better bosses would be higher education changes that bring back spanking, political policies that establish dueling as acceptable form of mediation, and forming a manditory 2 year tour of duty in military for all teenagers. The herd needs a good thinning, till then find a cash cow and hide.
Post #1337202
Posted Monday, July 30, 2012 6:46 AM
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The two worst bosses I've had were MBA's and were both retired miltary.
Post #1337213
Posted Monday, July 30, 2012 7:09 AM
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I think I've said enough about bad bosses in the past. Thanks for at least bringing some humor to the conversation Steve. I'll watch the comments for a while and hope someone comes with some brilliant insight.
Post #1337221
Posted Monday, July 30, 2012 7:32 AM
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Count your blessings applies here, as although I have seen a lot of poor management, I have been fortunate to not have had that many bad managers, and none recently.

I started at 14 with a guy that liked to wave power tools around in the air as he yelled at us. Multiple attempts to quit were refused! My dad had to come in and make him "allow me to leave". I can't see how it could have got any worse. While I had some poor managers after that, in truth a lot of it was my attitude as a teenager, it wasn't all their faults.

As an adult I have had decent or better managers. The best quickly realized what they had going with me, and pretty much got out of the way. Every one of those has been very sorry to see me leave. There are workers who are far better than I am, but managers love when they can count on an employee to get the job done, do it correctly, and they certainly love employees who are trustworthy.

I see by the responses here that my experiences are somewhat unique. I complain about the issues I see in business, but it is unpleasant to hear from those who actually experience it. I feel for those who have to deal with it. Unlike some in the media, I recognize that it is difficult to uproot your family to find a new job in a new area, and for most of us, jobs where we live are hard to come by. So replacing a manager isn't as easy as it sounds.

My managers have not been perfect, but for the most part they have been good people doing their best to lead others to success.


Dave
Post #1337237
Posted Monday, July 30, 2012 7:54 AM
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SGT_squeequal (7/30/2012)
Having managed teams of variouse types for over 10 years I feel that to be a manager you but need to follow a few simple rules.

Never expect anyone do do something that you would never be prepared to do yourself
and
Lead by example
Set a good example in the workforce and get a good result, set a bad example and you get a shit and unhappy workforce. I have seen too many bad managers who follow the rule; do as i say not as i do.
remember 1 person can not let a team down however, a team can let one person down :)
A happy worker is a good worker an unhappy worker will just leave :)


My comment is directed towards the ideas presented, not the person presenting them.

All too often I see managers who spout this BS thinking it makes them a good manager. It doesn't. Those who truly lead by example, and who are willing to do the ugly jobs, are usually better people and thus better managers, but are in the MINORITY! We all have had managers who claim to follow these rules yet everyone knows they really don't. I especially hate the sayings about letting a team down and unhappy workers.

How many managers count themselves as great managers because of low turnover? Then the economy improves, everyone quits, and they blame turnover on the economy? Wake up and smell the coffee - unhappy workers do not leave, they cause massive issues before they are fired! Some may leave, but the majority can't. Unhappy workers are normally a group that have less ability to succeed on their own, and whom good managers can assist. Bad managers look at them as poor workers and refuse to recognize their own involvement in the poor performance of the worker.

"There is no I in team" and all the other cute sayings do nothing more than annoy most people. If there is no I in team, why does John get the same raise I do when his actions hurt our team so often? Why does Sue get to act how she does? Truly leading well is not about cute things to say, it is about what you do. Management training today is focused on cute sayings. Poor managers aren't going to improve until we stop trying to fit everyone into the same mold, and recognize that our differences are what makes a good team.




Dave
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