The only way to successfully grow a company is to build a strong management team. It becomes the responsibility of this group to move the company vision, objectives, and culture forward. It is also this group that can cause the most damage.
The worst managers will:
1. Perpetuate division
One of my pet peeves is when individuals come to me with a problem they have with someone else.
The workplace is not a school playground, and it is not your responsibility to resolve your team’s interpersonal issues. Volunteer to moderate a discussion between the individuals, but don’t fall into the trap of trying to resolve a disagreement by playing the role of go-between. Eventually your team will learn they need to attempt to work out issues on their own before trying to make the problem yours.
Bad managers relish playing the part of peacekeeper. When they do, issues are not resolved. Instead, they escalate.
2. Participate in gossip
Gossiping in the workplace takes many forms. Your management team needs to be the group that puts such conversations to rest. Gossip is a liability to your corporate culture and can lead to larger HR and legal issues.
Your employees think, if this individual is willing to gossip about someone else, what are they saying about me when I am not around?
Managers that participate in gossip create an environment of mistrust and fear, preventing open dialogue. Employees can perceive this as a hostile work environment.
3. Take all the credit
The worst managers have to be the smartest person in the room. They take credit for what their team does.
This behavior is a sign of a bad manager’s insecurity and a fear that others will think less of him or her for not knowing the answer to a question or needing to check with someone before responding.
The opposite is true. It is the primary job of a good manager to surround him- or herself with team members that do the work. Your best managers will have to check in with or refer you to others to get your questions answered.
Beware of a manager who has all of the answers–he or she is probably a bad manager.
What do you do as a leader if you have a bad manager?
It is important to address these issues quickly or they will poison your company culture.
Implement a 360-degree review that allows peers and subordinates to provide open, honest, and anonymous feedback. This is a great way to uncover and address potential issues. Realize your organization could have these issues, but they may be hidden from you because your team isn’t comfortable letting you know.
The opinions expressed here by Inc.com columnists are their own, not those of Inc.com.