13 ways managers lose control
13 Ways Managers Lose Control
posted by Anna Mar, February 19, 2013
We've all been there — reporting to a manager who's losing control. Things go undelivered. Quality suffers. The team starts to fall apart. The organization begins to notice. The entire team suffers decreased job satisfaction and a damaged reputation.
Management isn't always easy. Managers must build a team and deliver to objectives — planning, leading and publicizing the team's work. There are 16 common reasons that managers lose control:
1. Low manager engagementSome managers simply give up. This is usually related to job satisfaction or personal distractions.
2. The passive-aggressive managerSome managers may be bent on damaging the organization through obstructionist and subversive behavior.
3. Interpersonal relationshipsManagement requires people skills, adaptability, communication skills and thick skin. Dysfunctional interpersonal relationships is a common cause of management breakdown.
4. Wishy-washy decision makingFailure to set a clear and consistent strategy for the team. Weak decision making can lead to a dissatisfied team and challenges to the manager's leadership.
5. Over ambitionSome managers are more interested in their next job than their current job. This is not always bad when the manager has a good chance of moving up. However, if the manager has not developed competence at their current level — over-focus on a promotion can lead to their downfall.
6. MicromanagingMicromanaging is not always a bad thing. Some managers know the job better than anyone on the team and add value at the detailed level. Many famously successful managers are known to be micromanagers.
Where micromanaging goes wrong is when managers interfere with decisions they don't understand. This is counter-productive and can damage the manager's reputation.
7. Inability to InfluenceSome managers are good at managing their team but fail to represent the team within the organization.
8. Political trickeryOffice politics is an inescapable aspect of management — it is the de facto way that power gets worked out on a day-to-day basis within an organization. A politically astute manager can influence and publicize the team's achievements and value. However, when managers engage in backhanded political tactics such as gossip, backstabbing or coercion they can very quickly damage the team.
9. Failure to build the teamTeams don't just happen. It's the manager's responsibility to build the team. When the team is dysfunctional it threats the manager's ability to execute.
10. Alienating others on the way upWhen a manager has powerful adversaries in the organization that obstruct the team's work.
11. Becoming caught-up in workProductive workers are often promoted to management as a reward for their achievements. Such managers sometimes continue to focus on working-level tasks and neglect their management responsibilities.
12. BullyingManagers who abuse their power and fail to treat their staff with respect.
13. The yes manA weak manager who always agrees to executive requests — whether they are realistic or not.
This post is an installment in the ongoing series of articles called Management: The Missing Manual.
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