When I travel abroad I tell people that I either am a unemployed writer or sell drugs to school children. This isn't because I am actually without employment, I'm just ashamed of my job. I never leave work with any tell-tale signs of what I do if I can help it, and I try to separate my home life with my work life.
I work for some very stupid people.
Not my immediate supervisors are stupid, or even the "head honcho" is stupid. But there is one individual who can direct almost everyone who has very poor leadership skills. I will give examples later (some personal ones), for now let's look at leadership:
Effective leadership is one that encourages your sub-ordinates to become better by encouraging them, and admonishing them in such a way that makes them think about putting the best foot forward. For instance, and using the foot metaphor, if you're employee never polishes their shoes, an effective leader might pull that person aside and say "You may not like it here, or even think that some of the practices here are dumb, but you should respect yourself. You can show that self respect by touching up your wardrobe, such as your shoes. People take a man seriously who can take care of himself."
The ineffective leader would say "You look like a bag of sh*t. If I see you come through here with shoes like that again I'm going to make your life miserable".
Both methods might be effective at getting a person to shine their shoes. The positive leader will have a greater chance of building the respect of his sub-ordinates, and encourage them to give it their best in all ways. The negative leader will probably foster resentment in his people, and they will only work as hard as they have to, never trying to surpass their bosses expectations.
The boss that I find hard to take, and I feel breeds nothing but contempt where I work, is in this latter category. Despite the fact that our branch has won every sports day event against other branches, we are still "lazy" and don't do well enough. One employee who is finishing his contract and leaving due to medical issues was told he was "gaining a lot of weight. You should hit the treadmill more often", despite the fact that this guy goes to physio five days a week to combat a biological disorder. Then he was told "I will make you want to re-sign your contract by the end of this."
He does random cubicle inspections to make sure no codes are violated. To me that's fine, but it's executed that makes a jerk move. Our cubby-holes for our personal effects are supposed to be clean. His solution? Nothing is allowed to be placed in the cubby-hole. The $5,000+ entertainment system in the break room is not allowed to be on during working hours, and no one is allowed to stay late to watch anything. People arriving to work are told not to wear specific clothing that may look bad to the organization ie: ripped sweaters (that are designed to look that way), muscle shirts, etc. even though these people get changed into business attire before they start work.
One of his co-bosses won't allow the executives to eat Captain Crunch in the breakfast line because it is "for children". He wants to do the same for his workers.
He spent three hours going through the rules and regulations of the company to find a way to prove himself right over a procedural issue that doesn't matter (how long to hold down the fire alarm), just so he could "put that person in their place."
True leadership does not put people "in their place". True leadership directs them where they should be.
10/21/2013 05:29:29 pm
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