Kool Derby

If you think about it, most managers today are talented. They are hard working and committed to helping you succeed. In fact, I think that most of them actually care more about you than you might believe. They will give employees the benefit of the doubt, even when it’s obvious that they are making up stuff.

However, there are still about 10% of managers who are ridiculous. Some are even flat-out crazy. They talk a big game, and even pretend they know what they are doing. However, their words are hollow, and their actions are elusive. They are good at holding meetings and micromanaging. That’s it!

Here are three sure signs your manager is ridiculous:

#1: He interprets bad results as good.

We are in a political year here in the United States, and we see politicians looking for the good, even though the poll numbers are sinking. They are looking for ways to spin the numbers. In other words, perception is what matters the most.

I remember one manager saying the following: Look, things ain’t good, and we all know that. I looked at the monthly figures this morning, and we are ahead of Tulsa, Kansas City, and Cedar Rapids. I guess 11th place is fine as long as we beat Tulsa. Their regional manager is a dumbass, and I don’t need them to finish ahead of us.

This manager was only concerned about coming ahead of one other market, and was ridiculous because he failed to recognize the problem. Instead of worrying about Tulsa, he needed to focus on his own business.

#2: The use food as a motivator.

I used to work for a manager who approved luncheons for the entire staff several times per week. At first, the food was a good idea because we were able to interact, share ideas, and build camaraderie. However, after more than 20 get-togethers, what else is there to discuss? What else can be shared that we don’t already know about each other?

It was interesting that many of us had gone without a raise for a year or more because the “budget was tight.” Yet, we had funds for the luncheons. Interestingly, the luncheons eventually stopped after nearly 70% of the staff started to opt-out.

#3: He is scared.

I remember one situation in which the head honchoes from corporate were visiting our division in San Antonio. The manager called a meeting with a group of staff members, and said the following: “Whatever you do … make sure to make us look good. I’m going to give you guys a chance to present when the Top Guns are here. I will sit in the back and offer encouragement.”

Instead of offering encouragement, it’s best to let the numbers speak for themselves. This manager was basically hoping that a few presentations would mask our poor performance. The “Top Guns” identified the problem, lambasted the manager for failing to meet performance goals, and recommended sweeping changes. In less than a month, this manager had his pink slip.

As I noted earlier, most managers are top performers. They work hard to meet key performance indicators (KPIs), and will commit the training and development needed for the staff. However, the 10% that have a big hat and no cattle are time-wasters. As soon as they are identified, they should be given the opportunity to start anew somewhere else.