I like camping. I hire all sorts of gear. One year I was encouraged to hire a dog as a companion and protector. The dog’s name was “Worker” and he cost me $5 a day. “Worker” was a great investment – loyal, dedicated and great company.
So much so, next year when I went camping I asked for “Worker” again. I was told the dog was now called “Salesman” and he was $10 per day. I hesitated, but not for long. This trip was even more successful. Not only was “Salesman” a great companion and protector, he could hunt game and even help me if I got lost.
The following year I asked for “Salesman” again. I was told he was now called “Manager” and I could have him for 50 cents a day. Shocked and confused, I asked why.
The owner said, “Because ever since we called him manager, he just sits on his backside and barks all day”.
If you’ve read the very funny satire, the Peter Principle and believe in promotion to a level of incompetence, you’ll know that we will all run in to a dud manager at some point.
This was the problem posed to me recently by a good (and highly competent) friend. She gets impossible deadlines, a change of direction every 5 minutes and then micromanagement – the whole disaster!
The flippant answer is “quit if you don’t like it” but with bills to pay, that’s just not practical for everybody.
No manager is perfect, but it is interesting to explore why someone may behave the way they do and whose responsibility is it to compensate – the boss or the subordinate?
It’s a minefield to work through.
The best advice I came up with was to build a better relationship through communication - say what you think, respectfully but honestly.
What else can you do?
Is there anyone who can share real life examples?