The Knowledge Nook

The Important Traits of a Bad Manager

Posted by Tami Russell on May 9, 2016 10:46:22 PM


What kind of manager do you want to be?  It’s important to give that question some meaningful thought because your answer will be what defines you.  After all, we’re talking about a leadership position, and you have to bring certain qualities to the job.

If you think you’d like to be a bad or unsuccessful leader, then pay attention!  These qualities will definitely help you earn that title:

Don’t let anyone forget you’re the boss - If you’re in a management position (team leader, CEO, etc) you’re clearly there for a reason.  Make sure you say and do things every day that remind the people below you that you’re the top dog.

Therefore, show them how smart you really are – If someone comes to you with their own ideas or strategies, remember that you’re the smartest person in the room.  If someone suggest an idea that you’ve never tried…it probably doesn’t work.  Let’s not forget that if it worked, you would’ve done it already.

This means, you can’t do anything wrong – If something bad happens or a plan goes awry, make sure you know who to blame.  At the end of the day, you’re in a management position.  You’ve effectively worked your way into a leadership role.  The problem can’t possibly be with you.

Don’t work too hard – You’ve paid your dues and that’s why you’re the boss.  You’ve done the work, and now it’s time for someone else to do it.  Now that you’re the leader, make sure to push the people under you to get all the work done.  The best way to do that is to remind them of how bad things can get if they don’t do a good job.

Indulge in the victories – Again, don’t let anyone forget you’re a born leader, and you’re in charge for a reason.  In this case, when things go well, make sure everyone knows it’s because YOU made it happen.  Let’s face it, your minions couldn’t pull of anything without your guidance, expertise and tutelage. 

Okay, in all seriousness…

 We didn’t actually think someone would want to know how to be a bad manager (at least we hope not).  Yet, despite that, some of those bad behaviors do actually exist in some managers.  So, if you want to be a successful manager or leader, do the opposite of what’s listed above.  Instead of following those rules, follow these:

  1. Be an active part of your team that values everyone’s contributions (and not just your own). You don’t have to “act” like the boss all the time.  Also, always contribute to the daily operations of the business.  You bring skills to the table as well, so be an active part of the team’s success.
  2. Team members are hired with specific skillsets that are needed to help your team or organization to achieve goals. Empower your team to do what they do best.  It’s okay if they know something you don’t or if they want to try something you’ve never attempted.  One of the reasons they’re on your team is so that you don’t have to tackle several different challenges on your own.
  3. Be approachable and supportive. If people know they can talk to you about problems, challenges or ideas, it will make a big difference.  By the way, it’s perfectly okay to talk about non-work related things as well.
  4. Be consistent about accountability. Your approach to accountability should be consistent with your employees, as well as yourself.  Mistakes are going to be made, and not every one of them has to be treated like the ultimate sin.  The best players in baseball don’t always bat 1.000.
  5. You were able to grow into your position, so be aware of the growth potential of your team members.

One of the most important things you can do to avoid the traits of bad managers is to never stop learning.  The business climate changes frequently via evolving technologies, multi-generational workplaces and consumer behaviors.  If you dedicate yourself to continue learning from your co-workers, thought leaders and educational workshops, you can avoid the failures of a bad manager.

Topics: lifelong learning

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PDI - The Professional Development Institute of the University of North Texas - is dedicated to your desire to never stop learning!  "The Knowledge Nook," our blog designed to share best practices, trending topics and other tidbits of information, is a tool to help you as you plot your career path. If you have specific questions, blog topic ideas or comments on particular topics, please let us know! We look forward to learning together.

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