Sunday, August 5, 2007

Bad Boss?

So, I try to stay away from work topics as I worry about the confidentiality of combining a blog with many of the situations I face at work as a boss. But this article came out, and I just had to comment. It stipulates something we all fear, that nice guys finish last and that to get ahead you have to screw people. It is the corollary of a book that just came out, The No Asshole Rule. This book talks about how much money true assholes cost the company and how good leaders recognize that and don't reward them.

The reason I focus on this is that this is exactly what I try not to be, a domineering and intimidating boss, but at the same time, I am responsible for the effectiveness of my team and must hold people accountable. So, how do you correct behavior without seeming like a bully? All these management books talk about being personable and "touchy feely", but they are geared towards male readers who are less nurturing by nature. So, should women be reading the books about being tougher as a way to even out or should we embrace our softer sides. Probably the latter, but there's no simple rule . . . unfortunately.


yertle said...

I saw the articl too and it made me mad -- probably because it was so my experience with the school district. It makes me wonder why people are so afraid to hold others accountable -- is it fear of lawsuits? Nothing ruins morale more than people who don't do their job well, but get to stay and/or be promoted meaning other people have to do more.

I am just learning how to be a boss, and I struggle. I noticed recently that my instinct is to want to fix the work myself if it doesn't turn out well, but I know that is wrong, so I try to support the person to fix it. Yet my fear then becomes about being pushy and dominating by telling them how to do things. I keep pulling up teaching skills though -- my job is to teach them to be self sufficient and to need me less with time, so I try to apply that here. It is hard though.

Sierra said...

I am a personal advocate of the No Asshole Rule in my own life. It is good to be compassionate and forgiving, but it is far better to lead in love. Sometimes the most loving thing you can do for yourself, your company and your employees is to discipline consistently and appropriately. Hummm, it is amazing how many parenting principles apply to managing a business.
Unfortunately, as in siblingdom, the youngest can't do anything to weed out the Asshole conduct without becomming the victims of it. It is the parent's job to protect the innocent and teach the guilty.
It's in every work environment and litterally costs billions in personnel, lawsuits and professional counseling, not to mention the creadibility of the business or family and it's leadership alltogether.
I'm sure that if you are thinking about this, then you are a good boss. It takes a good person to objectively evalutate attitudes and performance.