FASTCOMPANY.COM offers signs by which incompetent managers or heads of office may be spotted. A member of the board of directors of a certain company wrote that as soon as he joined the firm, he recognized that its management was not competent to run the business. It took the other members of the board to so recognize such that the company nearly sunk.
Contrary to real leaders who have bias for action, incompetent managers (IMs) always find plenty of reasons not to make a decision. IMs generally do not make mistakes because they do not make or do anything significant at all. Sounds familiar? Read on.
IMs usually treat employees like children so they in turn behave that way – which means trouble for the organization. Employees who are treated like adults will respond accordingly. IMs also keep a lot of information, even the non-confidential ones, from employees. Secrets, according to fastcompany.com make organizations political, anxious and full of distrust. Sounds familiar? Read on.
IMs are overly sensitive always trying to avoid hurting the feelings of employees. An inability to be direct and honest with staff members is a critical warning sign. If the manager sees a problem but does not address it headlong and move on, problems won’t get resolved and will definitely grow. Over-sensitive managers are usually describing themselves. Secrecy and over-sensitivity almost always travel together – they are a bias against honesty. Sounds familiar? Read on.
IMs love procedure, cleave to the rule book and usually refer to colleagues by their titles, forgetting that rules and processes exist to expedite transaction, not ritualize it. Fastcompany.com adds, love of procedure often masks a fatal inability to prioritize – a tendency to polish the silver while the house is burning. Sounds familiar? Read on.
IMs prefer to engage the services of weak candidates. It is because they are usually threatened by super-competent candidates or employees and do not have the confidence to know that a manager deliver results through his people. This is manifested by decisions to replace highly competent or skilled employees with mediocre ones but probably “may pinagsamahan.” Sounds familiar? Read on.
IMs also engage in displacement activity to hide the fact that they could not do their real job – they focus on small tasks. IMs are always on time, they volunteer for projects in which they have no core expertise – attending meetings outside the office projecting good images of themselves but leaving their organization in disarray and their jobs unattended. Sounds familiar? Read on.
IMs are allergic to deadlines or committed start-up dates. Managers who cannot set and stick to deadlines or schedules cannot honor commitments. Failure to set and meet deadlines also means there cannot be a feeling of true sense of achievement. Add to this failure to sustain commitments. Sounds familiar? Read on.
IMs work very long hours because they think this is a brand of heroism. Fastcompany.com however says this probably is the single biggest hallmark of incompetence. To work effectively, a competent manager must prioritize and pace himself. The manager who boasts of late nights, early mornings and no time off cannot manage himself so he also cannot manage others. Sounds familiar? Read on.
IMs are overly reliant on consultants. A common way to put off making decisions or taking action is to wait for consultants to the job for them while they fence sit waiting to take credit for all good results and shunning the bad. They do not seem to understand what their job is and have to rely extensively on consultants forgetting that as organics they have the obligation to perform as managers.