He is a very caring human being, with a good set of professional
values . He is a terrible manager.
It’s the mantra of the new chief executive. He starts every
conversation and answers every question with ,” How can I help you”.
At first it’s different, then amusing because of the frequency he says
it. But before long it becomes just irritating. We get it he sees his
role as helping employees and by extension customers. He clearly wants
to be seen as different to what went before. First morning he calls
all his managers together and sacks a whole department on the spot.
All except one manager who he prompts and asks to recruit managers
with less focus on the bottom line and more on customer experience.
It’s the US apparently you can hire and fire like this. He asks his
senior managers for suggestions.At first his request is meet by
bewildered silence then one of the assembled managers asks to replace
the vending machines with a fresh fruit and vegetables , a Farmers
Market type stall in the lobby, clearly a pet project. The new boss
says ,”yes”. The new boss likes to say yes.
Saying, ” yes “ quickly leads him to over promise customers and over
commit the service. He is a very caring human being, with a good set
of professional values . He is a terrible manager. He tries to
micromanage the organisation in a whirlwind of activity literally
running from one meeting and one conversation to the next. He fails to
delegate, he doesn’t listen when managers raise concerns brushing them
aside as excuses and telling them to get creative. The situation
quickly descends into a crisis. He is forced to recognise that he is
out of his depth. He calls an emergency all managers meeting,
acknowledges he has made a mistake and asks for them to help him out
of the crisis. Everyone pulls together in a one off supreme effort
and gets the situation back under control.
The chair of the board says we didn’t recruit you to act like
this. The chief executive responds you recruited me because you
wanted to change things and you knew I would not be afraid to upset
people. To which the chair says you’ve got 12 months.
Blair Mcpherson former Director, author and blogger www.blairmcpherson.co.uk