Not Good to Not Great: How to Completely Demoralize Your Staff (A Guide For Mischievous Managers)


Hi there

Are you at the helm of an organization and possessing of a dark sense of mischief? Are you tired of trying to be the kind of leader who inspires and leads? Want to see how rough you can make the ride for your underlings? Love to push your crew to near mutiny just because you can?

If you answered yes to these questions, then this guide is for you. Go from good to great using these handy pointers.

 

11 Ways to Completely Demoralize Your Staff:

IDEA 1: IDEAS

  • GOOD: Don’t listen to anyone’s ideas. If they were any good, they’d have your job, not so?
  • BETTER: Invite ideas from your staff and then ignore them and never bother with them again. (They are highly likely to be utter drivel anyway, and they should know their place.)
  • GREAT: Invite ideas. Ignore them. And then a few months later, present them as your own.

 

IDEA 2: DECISIONS

  • GOOD: Don’t make a single decision without exhaustive consultation. (You have to justify your salary somehow, right? – Nod-nod, wink-wink.)
  • BETTER: Make decisions, but only after ‘consulting’ people who are not affected and / or who have nothing to do with the area concerned.
  • GREAT: Make unilateral decisions without consulting anyone. Ever. You are the boss after all.

 

IDEA 3: FINANCE

  • GOOD: Brag to your underpaid drones about how well the company is doing this year financially.
  • BETTER: Tell your staff that the budget does not allow for any kind of significant salary increase this year.
  • GREAT: Brag to your underpaid staff about how well the company is doing this year financially and then immediately afterwards tell them that the budget does not allow for any kind of significant salary increase.

IDEA 4: CHANGE

  • GOOD: Be reluctant to make any kind of significant change.
  • BETTER: Seem eager to make meaningful change, start planning committees, but do not give them a clear brief or any kind of deadline.
  • GREAT: Seem eager to make meaningful change, start planning committees, but don’t give them any kind of brief or deadline. When they come to you with their findings, either file them away indefinitely, or pretend you have no idea what they’re on about. Start again by forming a new committee.

 

IDEA 5: FIRE-FIGHTING

  • GOOD: Handle all problems as they happen. Future-planning is for cowards.
  • BETTER: Spend all your time handling emergency problems and have no time for any meaningful leadership. (Can’t they see you’re busy?)
  • GREAT: Spend all your time delegating emergency problems to others. Ensure that they have so many fires to put out that they cannot manage their main job responsibilities. Go for an early lunch.

 

IDEA 6: TRAINING

  • GOOD: Hire the most expensive trainers you can and mention how much they cost to your staff.
  • BETTER: Make your staff sit through as many hours of mind-numbing ‘personal empowerment’, ‘passion honing’, ‘creativity unlocking’, and ‘brain training’ mumbo-jumbo as your budget allows.
  • GREAT: Arrange for training for your staff and then take the day off. (For even greater effect: complain about the lack of productivity the previous day when you get back.)

IDEA 7: STAFF MEETINGS

  • GOOD: Have as many staff meetings as possible where you discuss issues which could very easily have been handled by email.
  • BETTER: Email your staff as much as possible on a daily basis. Have your line managers do the same.
  • GREAT: Flood your staff with high priority emails and go over exactly the same issues in your normally scheduled meetings.

 

IDEA 7: PANDERING

  • GOOD: Give the people who moan and complain most of your time.
  • BETTER: Give those who moan and complain what they want.
  • GREAT: Give those who moan and complain a promotion.

 

IDEA 8: DISTRIBUTED LEADERSHIP

  • GOOD: Surround yourself with middle managers who always agree with you.
  • BETTER: Surround yourself with middle managers who always agree with you but who don’t communicate with one another.
  • GREAT: Surround yourself with middle managers who always agree with you, who don’t communicate with one another and who are prepared to sabotage one another to get ahead.

IDEA 9: HUMOR

  • GOOD: Insult and belittle your underlings and then accuse them of having no sense of humour when they take offence.
  • BETTER: Insult and belittle your underlings and then accuse them of having emotional issues which they really should see someone about when they take offence.
  • GREAT: Insult and belittle your underlings and then punish them when they take offence.

 

IDEA 10: POLICIES AND PROCEDURES

  • GOOD: Develop a series of ‘innovative’ policies. (You can mix and match the latest buzzwords here*)
  • BETTER: Develop a series of ‘innovative’ policies but counteract this by removing any structures required to enact these policies.
  • GREAT: Develop a series of ‘innovative’ policies but counteract this by creating procedures which would deliberately backfire on anyone who takes any of your policies seriously. (The fools!) There is nothing funnier than watching a rat trying to navigate through an impossible maze. (There is no cheese, Sparky!)

 

IDEA 11: MANAGEMENT STYLE

  • GOOD: Hands-off. (That’s why you have middle management. In fact, why not create a sub-middle management tier to take the pressure off them? And then perhaps an assistant sub-middle management tier?)
  • BETTER: Commit random acts of micro-management.
  • GREAT: Adopt a hands-off policy interspersed with random acts of micro-management.

 

Try a few of these yourself – if you haven’t already. You’d be amazed at how quickly the heads droop and spirits fade.

M’kay? That’d be great.

* Corporate mumbo-jumbo generator

Some examples:

  • optimize next-generation vortals
  • unleash robust metrics
  • incentivize open-source functionalities

 

 

 

 

 

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About Sean Hampton-Cole

Fascinated by thinking & why it goes wrong➫ (Un)teacher ➫iPadologist ➫Humanist ➫Stirrer ➫Edupunk ➫Synthesist ➫Introvert ➫Blogger ➫Null Hypothesist.
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