Are You a Selfish and Judgmental Manager?

August 29, 2010 — 9 Comments

So much of what we call management consists of making it difficult for people to work. – Peter Drucker

It’s often tempting to judge employees at every turn. Managers often feel they are not doing their jobs if they are not judging. But good judgements require foundations. In a changing economy where knowledgeable workers now play the most important roles, Drucker believed that employees should be treated as well as you would treat volunteers, because they can take their knowledge and go elsewhere anytime they want.

If you remember that your employees are the ones who came to you because they believed in what your business does for others, you’ll learn to appreciate why they are their every day.

But too often, employees are treated like possessions that can be stockpiled or discarded at management’s whim. To keep them and help them thrive, Drucker said, management needs to appeal to their interests. They will stay — and produce — when they have a clear understanding of what the organization is trying to accomplish, when they have responsibility for results, and when they feel they’re gaining more of the one thing no one can take away: knowledge. Anytime management makes it difficult for an employee to understand the mission (by not sharing it), to be accountable (by failing to give consistent feedback), an organization suffers. The employees might be blamed in these circumstances, but Drucker would say that management needs to look in the mirror and judge itself first.

A great manager lets his or her employees know what the organization’s game plan is. By doing this, it allows for ideas to be expressed and shared with other employees. How are you allowing this to happen within your organization?

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I'm just a tech guy who loves finally met the love of his life -- with hopes that this blog will help me become a better man, through writing, so I may effectively communicate with my wife... and raise a family of our own.
  • barrydalton

    Good advice. The flip side is also applicable. While the vast majority of employees are “at will” and have been. Its even more important for employees to look in the mirror, see themselves as free agents, and remember that with this freedom comes responsibility. The responsibility to continually deliver value. Behave like you are a consultant to your organization. Interact with your peers like that. And never take for granted that there are many other free agents out there gunning for your gig.

  • Anonymous

    Thanks, Barry… I appreciate it. Reading your comment reminds me of the importance of role balance within the workplace. Now, I have seen many workplaces flow very well and demonstrate a happy-medium when it comes to working towards a common goal. Far more than the opposite. Thank you for the flip side perspective. I always like seeing and hearing things from other views. – Geoff

  • Frode Heimen

    Hi Geoff.
    If we look from a different angle, one might consider why a lot of people do quit their job. Are you treating your employees like possessions, are they just a number in an excel sheet? you could read this post and identify what is wrong with your company. All leaders should take a good look in the mirror when people start to quit. :)