Monday, May 30, 2011

The Seven Habits of Highly Ineffective Managers

Am I fixated on the number Seven...looks like it and according to my enlightened sis-in-law and her friend Dan Millman who wrote the book " The Life you were born to live" , it is one of my lucky numbers. Anyway, I was reading this interesting article by Geoffrey James (GJ) today and what caught me was the title of the article "Seven Habits of Highly Ineffective Managers". Without much ado let me share the gyan aka Cliff Notes edition of the article with you -
The world has changed. Things are different than they were. Nothing is the same, except some things like: bad management, which is as eternal as death and taxes.Our problems and pain are universal, which is why we need universal, timeless, self-evident principles common to every management team throughout history. GJ did not invent them and takes no credit for them. GJ simply identified and organized them into a coherent framework...a framework that I have conveniently shared with you for greater good ;-)
Habit #1 : Be a Know-it-All : Make sure that EVERYONE in your team ALWAYS knows that you're a cut above the hoi polloi that tremble at your feet. That way they won't get uppity.
Habit #2 : Manage Numbers and Deliverables not People : Make sure EVERYONE in your team ALWAYS knows that they are replaceable...Follow this habit religiously, and you'll always have wonderful Powerpoint decks to present to the bigwigs in board room. After all, what those guys care about are the numbers, right? Employees? Screw 'em.
Habit #3 : Embrace the Status Quo : Forget about all that crap about innovation. If something ain't broke, don't fix it.
Habit #4 : Divide and Conquer : The best way to manage a team is to make sure that one half hates the other half. Ideally, you want the entire group to be a seething swamp of resentment and pique -- all of it aimed at co-workers rather than you! Most importantly, make certain that you're always the person to put the finishing touches on a successful project, if only to "keep peace in the family." That way, you can take the lion's share of credit while throwing some crumbs on the floor for your underlings to fight over.
Habit #5 : Do it Yourself : Don't believe any of that BS about the importance of delegating. Delegating is for sissies who can't think strategically. Think about all those books you've read by top CEOs like Jack Welch! Did they delegate? Of course not! They captained the ship and keel-hauled the flunkies.You are the Hero who swoops right in and does the job right!
Habit #6: Expect Mind reading: The best way to keep employees on their toes is to make sure that they never know exactly what you're thinking.If you're asked your opinion on something, always say: "Well, that depends." If you're asked for a decision, always say: "I have it under consideration" or (if you're feeling particularly frisky that day) "I have it under active consideration."
Remember: Your ability to remain in power is directly dependent upon your ability to keep your employees confused and disoriented. After all, if they know what they're supposed to be doing, why would they need a manager?
Habit #7 : Sharpen the Axe : One way to "sharpen the axe" is to read plenty of Ayn Rand, whose philosophy of business is tantamount a "soul-ectomy." After you've read enough Rand, you'll find it impossible to care about all those moochers and losers who aren't as successful as you. Finally, if all else fails, you can "sharpen the axe" simply by remembering the motto immortalized in The Sopranos: "It's not personal... it's just business."

Haven't had enough yet of this delightful article - to read the article in all its gory and glorious details go here. GJ definitely made my day today and got a couple chuckles out of me and a few omigods! I need to stop doing that...the beauty of such reads is light-hearted as they are - they do make you search deep within yourself to answer questions and in someways refine your actions in a conscious manner.


  1. This is something going on and on in my mind for the last few years...Thanks to you for writing such a wonderful piece...Not only lightened my mind but also makes me regret the times I have faced these kind of people and the scars they have created. Hope I don't commit the same mistakes when I have to take on bigger roles ...

    1. Thanks Lyd...the first step is self-awareness & I think once we are self-aware of our behaviors we are mindfully managing it :)