Karen Burns of U.S. News has been publishing a fascinating series of ‘seven things’ employees should never tell their bosses, and vice versa. I can really relate to the latter list since, well, I’m a boss (note to the FBI: I’m the usual kind. Not a crime boss).
Anyway, a couple of the no-no’s struck home both from a Peppercom and previous workplace/client perspective. To wit:
- Number three: ‘I was here on Saturday. Where were you?’ In Peppercom’s youth, we employed a senior manager who was simultaneously a talkaholic and workaholic. Sadly, the former condition served as a catalyst for the latter. When Kathleen wasn’t on the phone all day long chit chatting to anyone and everyone, she’d be holding endless meetings that were notorious for endless tangents. As a result, she never really got down to doing any work until 5pm. And, that’s what caused the problem. Because Kathleen didn’t get her work completed until 8pm or so, her direct reports felt obligated to stick around as well. And, because her office was the last work space one passed before making it to the elevators, it was impossible to slip by unnoticed. Even I started treading lightly as I’d tip toe past her office at 5:30ish, knowing that I’d get a withering glance of disapproval from her. It got so bad that we had to stage an intervention. Our consultant at the time had to sit down with Kathleen, show her how inefficient her work style was and force her to change it so that she, and our employees, could leave at a decent hour.
- Number five is also classic. ‘We’ve always done it this way’ has been the mantra of several former clients and employers alike. General Motors was famous for rejecting any idea that ‘wasn’t invented here.’ And, the Brouillard CEO I reported to reveled in the rigorous systems and processes he’d honed in the 1960s. He pooh-poohed virtually every new idea including, ‘That Internet thing David keeps pushing me to do. It’s just another hula-hoop,’ he’d say to me. ‘Shut it down.’ Needless to say, the CEO is long gone, David’s doing well and, unless I’m mistaken, the Internet is still around.
How about you? Do you have any particular favorites on this list you’d like to share? I’m all ears (which is one thing I always say to my employees).’
Thanks to Greg Schmalz for the idea behind this post.