Making Tough Decisions as a Boss. Part 1 of 2

Making Tough Decisions as a Boss. Part 1 of 2 In the last post, you tried to get money for the new project only to find yourself outmaneuvered and forced to find half of it within your existing budget. That is, you must take money from your other two units to give to Mike. There are basically three options for deciding how the money will be moved. The following table gives you their pros and cons. Options Pros Cons Option 1: You decide ·       Quick ·       Efficient ·       Bigger picture will be kept in mind ·       Don’t have to deal with supervisors jockeying for position (i.e. power undercurrent) ·       May not be effective as you may not understand the details of each unit enough to reallocate the money correctly ·       May anger/alienate some/all of your staff Option 2: Supervisors decide ·       Everybody gets heard ·       New solutions might be tabled ·       Transparent ·       Lose control of the outcome ·       Will take longer to decide ·       Not all relevant factors may be considered Option 3: Supervisors discuss; you decide ·       Keep control of the process ·       Everybody gets heard ·       New solutions might be tabled ·       Transparent ·       All relevant factors…

Falling Prey to Power Plays from Other Managers

Falling Prey to Power Plays from Other Managers In a previous post, we saw how YOU (Galen), as manager of a unit in a card manufacturing company, assign a new project to Mike because Mike used phrases which were sacrosanct in your work culture. Now YOU attend a management meeting of Alicia (YOUR boss), and your peer managers (Dante and Marguerite), to discuss how to fund the new project. Alicia: Okay, next item: funding Galen’s project. YOU: We’ll need about $500,000 for the software and marketing. Dante: That’s a lot! Where’s it gonna come from? YOU: I assume from Alicia’s special projects fund. Alicia: That would pretty much clean it out for the year. YOU: Maybe we each can take a hit on our budgets. Marguerite: Alicia, I’m already to the bone. More cuts would mean I can’t meet my deadlines and there would be hell to pay down the line. Alicia: Yes, I can see that. Dante:  It can’t be from mine! Alicia, you’re usually right on the money on new trends, but as you yourself say, better safe than sorry. Alicia: In what way? Dante: We can’t jeopardize our other operations. Let’s start small in Galen’s area and…

Do Your Employees Control You?

Do Your Employees Control You? In my recent post, Power—The Hidden Engine at Work, three employees vie for a new responsibility and one—Mike—wins by snowing his boss Galen. In this post, I’ll discuss how this shift in control happened and why it’s important. Off the top, I realize that ‘control’ is a harsh word. I just couldn’t think of another word for the phenomenon. In addition, I recognize that for the most part, employees are not scheming and nefarious people; they’re just trying to have things go in their favor. A completely human thing to do. The problem arises when the manager doesn’t recognize this undercurrent and gets caught up in it. How did Mike control Galen? Every organization has them—hot button words or phrases which are sacrosanct. Might be lean and mean, quality first, company brand, what’s best for the company, budget discipline, etc. You can probably identify some in your own company. The curious thing is that whenever these hot buttons are mentioned, everyone figuratively stands up and salutes. And there is a rush to ensure that the hot button item is protected. In our scenario, almost without realizing it, Galen fell for phrases like company brand and…

Building Respect in Your New Management Position
Manager Stream , Power for Managers / March 12, 2018

Building Respect in Your New Management Position If life were fair, or even just convenient, people should automatically respect you simply because of your new elevated position. But if you’re waiting for that to kick in, I’d hunker down for a long wait. In your previous jobs, you know that you had to earn your boss’ trust and respect. Same in a management position. But now you’ve got three groups to worry about. Below is a non-exhaustive list of how to earn respect from each group. Your boss. Much of what you learned as a stellar employee will apply here. How to get respect What that actually means What it does not mean Deliver on promises ·      Meet deadlines ·      Inform will miss deadline as soon as you know ·      Meet quality standards ·      Overpromise ·      Pull fast ones to appear  to meet the deadline Have your boss’ back ·      Inform boss if/when the s. is going to hit the fan ·      Position him to look good ·      Defend his interests when he’s absent ·      Bad-mouth him behind his back ·      Disagree with him in public Manage your own area well ·      Deal with people problems effectively ·      Motivate your…

As a New Supervisor, is Respect Most Important? Part Two

As a New Supervisor, is Respect Most Important? Part Two In a previous post, you decided not to make a change which your employees (represented by Candice) wanted. You need to let Candice know. How can you promote both her respect and liking and still disappoint her? Saying No Don’t be off-hand about telling Candice. That is, don’t throw it out over a coffee break or send her an e-mail. Doing so may promote the idea that you don’t respect her—and by extension, the group’s—ideas. Instead, set aside some time to talk. You: Candice, I’ve thought about it and I don’t think the process change is a good idea after all.   Candice: What? But you wanted it, too. Give the reason. Calmly. You: Yeah, but I didn’t realize that the other sections need to know what’s coming so they can plan their work. Don’t expect her to fold. Candice: But we can do any fixes in the next release. Keep trying to explain. You: But that holds up the other units’ work.   Candice: Not that much. Anyhow, they’re always whining. You don’t have to justify forever. You: I think it’s enough so that we need to stick with…