The pointy-haired boss – the frustrating manager featured in Scott Adam’s Dilbert Cartoons.
A few weeks ago I was reading Andy Buck’s ‘Leadership Matters’, and there is a section in which he talks about the impact that the way leader’s conduct themselves have on their colleagues.
Buck has produced a list of frustrating behaviours that leaders can exhibit:
- Don’t reply to a letter or e-mail within a day of it being sent;
- Regularly turn up late to teach or to meetings because they have been dealing with ‘more important’ matters;
- Leave colleagues out of the loop regarding a particular issue or event;
- Forget to do things that they say they would do or even do something differently from which had been previously agreed;
- Ask for feedback at the end of an event, and then fail to act about it or even acknowledge the feedback the next time the event is organised;
- Don’t meet deadlines that all staff are expected to meet;
- Make (often poor) decisions ‘on the hoof’ because they have failed to plan ahead effectively.
This is an important list, poor organisation as a leader limits the performance of the team. In addict as Buck states ‘their ability to inspire and motivate is diminished; they don’t have the same level of credibility with colleagues and morale is inevitably lower’.
On a personal level, I try to always respond to all emails within 24 hours, keep colleagues in the loop (though this is a potential minefield as we all suffer from information, often via email overload). Furthermore, I attempt to ensure that I have good timekeeping and remember what I have promised through the use of a to-do list and calendering everything!
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