Actions – That Make You Say, “What Were They Thinking?”

The other day, I was enjoying a healthy, lively and very active discussion on a topic that always gets me going; management. This discussion was more on the what each person has seen from their manager – that truly had them wonder what were they thinking? After just a few moments, the stories started flowing. There were plenty of examples of what not to do… There were many that each person could relate to. Below are some of the most popular of the decision:

  • Hardly ever acted: there are always plenty of reasons not to make a decision, reasons to wait for more information, more options, more opinions. In my younger years, I heard the phase that there is a right decision, wrong decision and a no decision (the only real wrong one was a no decision).
  • Secrecy:  Secrets make companies political, anxious and full of distrust. There really is not very many matters that must remain confidential. If it most be secret – then say so.
  • Over-sensitivity:  An inability to be direct and honest with staff is a critical warning sign. Can your manager identify a problem, address it headlong and move on? If not, then the problem will continue.
  • Love of procedure or process:  Well, we all know this one is something that just continues to happen. Process and procedure have their place – but, they are not the do all – there comes a time when things just have to happen.
  • Have the ability to hire weak folks:  Strong leaders do not feel threatened by their staff. You want the smartest and best people to get the job done. The chain is only as strong as its weakest link – so, no hiring of weaker people.
  • Focus on the small tasks:  Do managers need to know everything about everything? Micro-management 101 – enough said.

I bet there are more.. We ran out of time at lunch and had to get back to our meetings. We really had some good laughs over the examples that were shared. The one thing that was true in all of the examples were that these were managers that folks worked for in the past. Not to say that their manager today may not do or say something that makes us wonder, “what were they thinking?”. We all have found ways to get away from those incompetent managers.