Management style, common error to avoid

Management style, common error to avoid

Being a manager is a hard job, and it deals with cultural, economical, corporate issues and rules. But being a manager is indeed an important job usually performed with a not clear idea on what a manager should do.

We can find Bad and Good managers, and most of the times they do not even realize where they stand in the good or bad dashboard, because usually nobody teach you what to be a manger means.

Nevertheless there is a world of literature on management, so If someone really want to improve from naïve management style to something more consistent, there are plenty of tools. Even at corporate level those readings should be useful, but, alas too this does not happen.

Let me point out some of the weirdest aspects of being a manager nowadays.

What a manager should be

The main reason a company need a manager is because the company is in need to manage resources.

Resources are Human resources, Budgets, process and activities.

In the very description of manager there is the concept of delegation, a manager should receive a delegation from the company to manage some tasks and related resources.

Of course in an Ideal world the company commitment to the manager and the commitment to the manager to its people are plain clear and effective.

The truth is always different, and the reasons rely on the fact that:

  • • We do not live in a perfect world
  • • A company is not a deterministic entity; political issues, personal interests, group interests all drive to unpredictable results
  • • Communication is all but clear in terms of effectiveness and reach (not to mention cultural and linguistic problem)
  • • Culture is a big word that contains a lot of issues (company culture, country culture, personal culture…)
  • • ….

This makes the Management a tough job.

It was mentioned that a bad management attitude can affect job result and increase turnover. People leave in first instance managers than companies.

But since the environment is not so clear manager have to find a first issue: understand what the company requires to him

It seems easy but the truth is that there are 3 different levels of understanding:

  •  What the company tells
  •  What the company wants
  •  What the company need

In a perfect world those 3 items would be coincident; in the real world those 3 items seldom are the same thing.


It is clear that for the company wellness the third level should be the good ones, so basically we can depict a quality manager based on its attitude toward the company.

An average manager does what the company tells himher to do

This is typically the case of accepting and following orders. The best way to be kept out of troubles, but with a minimum value added

A good manager does what the company wants himher to do

Since the communication is subject to political, linguistic and cultural issues, it is not always clear the link between what you have been asked to and what actually you should do.

Unwritten rules are common quicksand ground that marks the difference between what is told and what is really meant. Living in a multicultural environment enhances this difference by a great level of magnitude. So the good manager should be able to understand the message between the lines.

A great manager does what the company needs himher to do

But sometimes what is told and what is requested from the company is not in the best interest for the company itself. There can be different reasons for that; may be lack of visibility and experience of the higher levels (hierarchy does not mean you know better than everyone the issues), errors, lack of vision, poor execution or simply bad management.

So a great manager should be able to do what it is needed, even if this can break some company rules.

I know that in some culture this is barely acceptable, but the truth is that if you do not do this you are responsible for the bad results.

And manager responsibility is not only towards higher hierarchy level but foremost to hisher own group.

Type of management

Regardless of manager understanding of the corporate indication (or better higher hierarchy level indications) a manager has to, in the day by day job, try to manage people and resources. People are the most difficult things to be managed.

There are in literature thousands of good management indication, I want to focus on some common bad habit.


The control freak (The micromanager)

Micromanagement has a dual meaning in literature, for some it is just the attitude of a manager to go into every single detail.

This, per se, is not a bad thing if the manager uses this as:

  •  A positive attitude towards hisher team to teach and improve their job
  •  A superior knowledge on the subject

Commonly the micromanagement is, on the other end, associated with a completely different attitude.

Micromanagers are control freak managers that does not give any kind of trust and credit to their group.

Usually this goes with the absence of delegation and really hard, rude modes.

The basic idea of this kind of manager is that there is no other way to reach a goal than hisher way. And since heshe is the only depositary of the truth he has to impose his way to the others.

You know that kind of manager that calls you at 10 PM shouting because you haven’t answered him immediately?

Pressure is the only way this manager use to obtain results, and the pressure always rise, without any recognition or praise of his team job.

This is the same manager that watches your timetable, when you get in and when you get out. Blame for 5 minutes late and worse, consider unacceptable not overworking.

Monday meeting with this kind of manager is a nightmare, heshe will blame every single details.

Micromanagement culture is more related to production environments than knowledge workers. But this management culture is still prevalent.

The Autocrat

This kind of management style is the ones of the kind of manager that feels heshe has been invested in the role by a higher entity.

They are right because are the boss and not Boss because are right.

The position justifies the truthfulness of their statement, independently by the real status of the things of course).

The autocrat usually is also a micromanager, but not necessarily.

Again there is a lack of trust and delegation, but not all the compulsive control freak attitude of the previous one.

The main problem here rely on the absence of communication (communication is a bidirectional activity).

Since the autocrat rely on his position to justify hisher actions, no checking is needed but with the higher hierarchy levels. Blind acceptance of orders, received and given, is the trademark of this kind of manager.

The blame fixer

This is something we all have met in our life, not only between managers.

The blame fixer is that kind of managers that is able to move the fault to the next viable target. Usually heshe is a great company traveler, and a career climber because of this fine ability to discard every bad result on someone else shoulder.

The management style trademark is the motto

“I do not want problems, I want solutions”

That is common in management 

Blame fixer is a paper writer heavy requester, since everything has to be set up in order to pass the blame to someone else, proofs of activities are mandatory.

Of course the blame fixer do not give trust but does not consider trust as an issue, since heshe is politically committed to survive the corporate environment no matter what.

The soft heart

Not all the managers are rude and hard to live with. Some on the other end are kinds, open to discuss and even collaborative. The problem can rise up when they have to stand for their group.

Basically this management style relay in a perpetual state of denial in front of the problems, but this will turns as a backlash when the problem hit.

You can’t count on this manager to protect the group; he never fought before and does not see the needs to fights now.

He never discusses higher orders simply because it doesn’t want to expose himselfherself, as a result heshe accepts passively all indications. At the same moment poor management attitude bring this kind of manager to not teach nor develop its persons in order to avoid conflict and questions.

The politicians

Likewise the blame fixer, with which usually share lot of traits, the politician is that kind of manager whose interest is just to raise his career in the corporation, therefore make every move accordingly.

Anything and anyone are expendable for his agenda that is the only important thing. Basically this is a career obsessed kind of manager very willing to be helpful with higher hierarchy levels since the job will be done by someone in the team.

This is the kind of manager that never says no to any odd request, that always proactively volunteer hisher team to the craziest commitment.

Very pleasant and manipulative heshe always present himselfherself in friendly ways, but want to maintain a tight control on communication going outside the team to be able to better leverage the knowledge for hisher agenda.

The innovator

There is always a better way and I want to try it all. The innovator is a portrait of a strange kind of managers who loves to be surrounded by new things.

Heshe read a lot of books on management, open to try every new single procedure. Usually use the same approach also toward technology so it is a gadget freak with the last computer, phone, tablet, watch …..

Everything new worth to be tested, can be process, management styles, tools, virtually anything.

The problem with this management style is the lack of consistency. At every change the direction is somehow lost, and the time to adapt to changes is not always enough to actually being able to master something.


All this traits are not mutually exclusive; most of them are present in anyone of us. But in some managers some comes out more than others, making it the prevalent personality trait.

It is clear that all those aspects are, in literature, considered very bad for a company wellness and team effectiveness, as well it is the truth, as said before, that most of the managers do not read management literature.

Remain the fact that If a manager cannot control those aspect the management result are really poor, and this can long term affect the capacity of the company to reach goals and retain valuable resources.

What? The Pictures?

Got it, right I forgot one manager typology.

The Team builder

This is the kind of manager we all would like to have to work with. Open transparent make the team the focus of hisher management style. Hisher motto is always let’s doing it together.

Heshe is able to give trust and in return heshe gains respect and commitment from the team.

Heshe stands out for the team and try to do the best for the group and the company. On the other end this can put himher in open contrast with the company itself and so not really appreciated in a corporate environment.

Why Management is important

Managing people and resources is the way to obtain results. But the effectiveness depend on management style and manger ability.

Management is something that requires specific soft skills that goes beyond the technical area of expertise. Not all are meant to be a manager, which does not means that as sole contributors could give great input for the company.

But as a last statement I would like to tress an important aspect that should be clear to any manager at any level.

One of the key tasks for managers is the problem solving, this means that a manger have to be proactive part of any problem that rise, this is the pay off for its higher discretional delegation.

Most of the management styles we seen before in the article are seldom willingly trying to solve a problem, and therefore are bad managers for the company.



A manager that is not a proactive part of the solution is part of the problem.


p class=”wp-crosspost-linkback”>
Management style, common error to avoid was originally published on The Puchi Herald Magazine

The rightful way to make an employee unhappy

ManagersManagement is a difficult art, management in a big corporations is more difficult. Management in a corporation where multicultural requirement is a need is even more hard.

We all know it and, at a certain extent, we have to deal with it. We can’t expect everything works good and right, and we have to show flexibility and we have to open to change and embrace the new but…

Let’s be real, no matter how much effort you put sometimes things are just not right.

There are plenty of ways a company can make your life miserable, and usually they try to ise them all, sometimes the environment is so strong that even the best manager have to comply to disgraceful attitudes.

let’s name some that can turn your working life in a nightmare, some are directly related to management styles, other to corporate rules (mainly thanks CFO and HR)



This is a common nightmare. The manager that want to check every single details. but not in a helpful proactive way, but in a compulsory need to not give delegation or autonomy to the people.

Usually micromanagement comes with a exaggerated manager ego (I am not right because I’m right, I am right because I am the Boss) and a fundamental mistrust of the other people.

Quite a sociopathic attitude? not really is more common than we should expect. It happen that people moved to management position change their attitude and adhere to this model.

Usually the micromanager is also extremely rude and impolite, the kind of guy that calls you at 10pm shouting if you do not anser immediately. you do not have right to your personal life, you life should be built around your manager.

nd of course the micromanager value your time in a different way, so no matter if you reach your goal, the important thing for the micromanager are:

  • do it his-her way
  • time, the more you stay at office the better (so it can control more?)

The point is if you are looking for a life balance, with this kind of managers the only way is to rule out your brain from you work, and just act as a robot. But I can assure you he-she will shout anyway

Yes Man

You know those managers that follow blindly company rules? even the most stupid one? Have you ever worked in that environment?

This situation usually comes together with the denial. Evidence does not touch the manager that will always find a good reason to justify company strategy. When they talk it seems that everyone (except you) are working in a fairyland where all help together, communication is perfect, company treat employees like sons or daughters, and all are working for the greater good.

of course you that object that the reality is different are the point of failure of this model if problems comes they have to be hidden or the blame have to e given to someone in a lower hierarchical status.

No roads no direction

Another typical things that make people unhappy is not to see directions, again a trait of many managers. Every change is allowed and you can’t see a strategy or purpose. Hard to be committed when you can’t see a good reason to do it. But of course every change has a reason, and if you do not cope is you that resist to change.

KPI or how to make clear you will never reach them

KPI (Key Performance Index) are another instrument of torture if used well (and they know how to se it). Basically the idea is to put them at a level that are not reachable, but in a way the fault is your one.

KPI are not necessary sales target wich, by definition, are unreachable, but a complex set of manure used to drive you mad. The more your job is based on intellectual stuffs the better will be your KPI. used as a metric from someone that probably has not idea what your work actually is. but at the end we are all replaceable, and so your work is not so important.

KPI are a fine agreement between two evil entities, your management hierarchy and HR department. HR apparently usually put a lot of effort in designing non understandable systems that seemed to used to target the employee to lower his-her satisfaction, self esteem, professionalism and committment.

Those little financial rules

CFO and financial office are another piece of the puzzle. there are plenty of rules that cha drive you mad.

The complicated procedures to make an expenses refund request are usually a good indicator, the more complex the more easily you get frustrated.

but there are those little rules that really piss you off:

  • Some companies does not allow you to take Mileage gained with flight, since company pay those miles are of the company…

this would be even correct if the company would demonstrate the same attention to the employee need, but usually this is just one little drop in a “cut expenses beyond ridicolousness”

  • Some companies put rules on your laundry, the craziest? You can claim laundry for everything but underwear (it is real,it is real, I can prove it)…
  • Some companies have a certain discretionary ability to move expenses form what is personal expenses to what is business related.

it is quite a common understanding that you have to advance a certain amount of money, wich will be repaid accordingly to the company process. Pity this process usually takes a long time, and the more you have had to advance (bigger expenses claim) the more you have to wait.

Of course the fact you are not travelling for your happiness and pleasure but for job does not come to the mind of the CFO that is probably sat in the office, and when move take a first class flight and can claim every expense.

Cars and other allowance

Ok you give me something for work that is also a benefit. Benefit means it is part of my incomes. so why sometimes this benefit turns out a mer cost since you can not use it for non-working activities (or the constrain are so hight you simply don’t do it?)

From not allowing your husband-wife to drive, or not covering with insurance in non working trip there are a lot of ways to make a benefit non usable.

Of course the best way is not give it to you at all with some good reason, but better not complain, all have to do some sacrifice for the company ou should try to understand.

Phone is another wonderful thing that can slightly make you uncomfortable, mostly if you are an international traveller. policy on phones can var from company to company. some simply does not care (up to you), other provide sim but not phone (but then require you to install any kind of crap on your personal device, it is called BYOD). A classic is to pretend you do not use phone for personal reason (calling family) even if you are on business trip, at the end you live for work not for your beloved. and of course roaming is out of question in most of the case.

Sacrifice and culture

we should all do something for the company.

It hurts me but …

a little sacrifice is mandatory

all nice statements if the company would pay it back with the same coin, but usually those requirements are mono-directional, from management to you.

Is like when a CEO ask for a important layouts and then got a mega bonus, sacrifice hurts mostly if it seems that you   (and your peers) are the only one which is required.

In some culture the idea of sacrifice is embedded, but here the aim is to leverage the idea the lower hierarchy has do extra job (hours, activities) because is the right thing to do; something like if the contract that ties the relationship between employer and employee does not already states what an employee is paid for. If sacrifice can be understandable in exceptional situations, can’t be the rule.

Same with culture. Embracing new culture is a bidirectional activity, you can’t ask to understand new culture if you close yourself. There are company that beside the claiming to be “international” are in reality completely closed to the other work culture. typical example is the HR manager that does not even talk the local language.


For some strange reason flexibility is a thing that tend to decrease with the hierarchy. the more you go up the less flexibility is required. So the lower level have to adapt and cope, and be flexible.

But curiously when is the employee that ask in exchange a little flexibility this is denied. so is goof to ask you to work on saturday without pay, but don’t dare to ask a day or some hours to go to a funeral (I’ve seen this as well, alas).


Trust is a bidirectional thing, you can’t trust someone who does not trust you. at some extent it can be understandable that the company take precautions but it can’t, at the same time, think you have to trust back. If you feel you’re not trusted you will not trust them, as simply as at. Tustin company components is hard, but bad managers and HR usually are in the Top Chart.

So Do not ask me if I’m sending CV away, I do not trust you will understand.

… and so on


Every one of those aspect, per se, can be managed, but usually they comes all together (or at least most of them), because they are all sign of a bad management attitude in the company. Good managers can mitigate this, this is usually exacerbated by bad managers that add their incompetence to the company environment.






The rightful way to make an employee unhappy was originally published on The Puchi Herald Magazine