Five Signs Of A Bad Manager

Bad Manager Signs To Diagnose Your Problem
Written by James C. Gammage

If you’re looking for signs of a bad manager, you needn’t look further than the attitudes within the department itself. To paraphrase an oft-quoted phrase, poor results start at the top. There is an art to being effective at oversight, and if you possess any or all of these qualities, then we’re willing to bet you’re pretty lousy at it.  

One: You Don’t Like Change.

Look at the world of 20 years ago and compare it to the one of today. The Internet had not yet become a part of our daily lives. Most of us had never even heard of it. Today, we can’t live without it. A lot can change in a short amount of time, and when it does, business will not be immune from it. If you don’t like change — if you resist new policies and practices and do things “because that’s how we’ve always done it,” then you really don’t need to be leading teams or projects. 

Two: You Don’t Respect Your Employees’ Time.

Most businesses are only as good as their employees. One of the most common signs of a bad manager is when you don’t respect the people who make it possible for you to be where you are. Employees are people, and as people, they have hopes, dreams, ambitions, people they love and want to spend time with. If you’re constantly demanding more from them with no respect for their time — if you’re treating the salary you pay them as a right to run their lives — then you’re eventually going to lose them to a competitor (or another industry). 

Three: You Try To Do Everything Yourself.

Being a hard worker is not a good enough if you want to be a successful manager. Companies place you in a management position because they trust that you’re good enough to squeeze maximum efficiency over several moving parts. The fact that you work 14 hours per day does little good if you’re wrapped up inside of yourself and unaware of what the rest of your team members are doing. No manager can do it alone. If he could, then no one else in the department would be necessary. So learn to trust your employees and make delegation a priority. 

Four: You Have A Negative Attitude.

Negative attitudes can take many forms. Some managers confuse like for respect, and end up siding with employees and joining in on the hostility whenever something goes wrong. Others demonstrate a poor way of addressing employees, never giving kudos when they’re due and failing to be a professional when a reprimand is necessary. The thing to remember about negativity is that it spreads. In the same way that a negative employee can poison the organizational culture, a negative manager can grow hostility for the job itself from those under him. 

Five: You Let The Tail Wag You.

Again, being liked is not the same thing as being respected. “Letting the tail wag you,” means having no control over your department. When that occurs, you lose confidence in everyone below you, and eventually, that produces the kind of results which lead your superiors to lose their confidence in you.

Knowing the signs of a bad manager can prevent you from becoming one; and if any of these described you, change now before it’s too late.

About the author

James C. Gammage

James C. Gammage is an aspiring science fiction writer who also serves as part of the active duty US Army. He is currently working on a degree in clinical psychology and is an avid reader of all things science fiction.