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Signs Your Employees Think You Suck as a Manager (thedailymuse.com)
18 points by nlow 1949 days ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 18 comments



Please don't believe this piece of useless blog spam. All of its advice should be taken with a large helping of salt.

1. If your team pays more attention to your presence than the work they are doing, there is a problem. You need to be able to get people's attention, but they shouldn't pay attention to whether you are in their peripheral vision.

2. There is a short path from worrying about whether you are "in the loop" to micromanaging. A micromanager may feel that they are doing lots of stuff and contributing value (because hey, that effort has to be worth something) but they are wrong.

3. A manager who is more concerned with the presentation of employees than what they are actually doing has the wrong priorities. At least if you're managing people in IT.


To me, this list comes off as "Signs Your Employees Do Not Consider You the Alpha Male".

Some of the best managers I've seen "fail" at at least one of these.

#1 - People don't immediately drop their work to brown-nose you? Good.

#2 - People know their stuff well enough to work autonomously? Good

#3 - Your rules are considered unnecessary/counterproductive and are ignored? Discuss the necessity of the rules with your employees instead of banging your chest and hooting at them.


One more thing about bad managers is their ability to take decisions. Most bad managers I know just can't take decisions and own things. They either ask their sub ordinates to take the risk of a decision or try to toss decision making stuff to a layer above them. The modus operandi is something like this. They would like to be a part of success, but not failures.

In general most managers just aggregate or distribute information. Or just toss around a schedule for which they generally will have no justification.

In many companies managers are part HR. Much of their time goes is performance evaluation, ratings, hiring etc. That included, it gives them complete space to run their own gangs.

But if you are looking for value building, wealth creating, directing teams, taking tough decisions and working to make things happen. Such managers are rare enough to be exceptions to prove the original rule.


This reads like satire - it's a list of instructions for incompetent managers to preserve power.

Did hn just get trolled?


Ok, two year project manager here:

wow, just wow... this article strikes me as being written by a very insecure person, trying to bedazzle his/her 'underlings' with 'authority'

>> 1. They act like you're not there Oh my... pay attention to me! I'm important! Why don't you stand up and applaud me when I walk into the office! Seriously?

Respect by deeds, not appearance!

>> 2. They Don’t Keep You in the Loop Guess what, we hire professionals to do a specific job. If I can't trust them to handle their work on their own, I already failed beforehand as a manager. I want them to notify me when they have a problem they can't resolve themselves - all other matters, I trust my team 100%!

>> 3. They Don’t Play by the Rules Again - unless you haven't inherited a bad team from a previously bad manager - you failed BEFOREhand as a manager if people don't play by the rules. Also, rather contrived examples of someone not playing by the rules...

Really? Someone coming back later from lunch is the biggest issue you encountered as a manager?

Who gives a fuck?! Did that guy have a positive impact on the product / the team / the company during that day? Great!

In addition: "didn’t ask for the necessary approval when performing certain tasks for her role." ....insecure manager working in a corporate environment comment right there.

Things I've found to be helpful during my time as a manager: > Help people 'getting to done' > Listen to teams issues and try to resolve them > Have 'character' and lead by example > Help them to grow, as a person and an employee > Don't bullshit them, then they won't bullshit you > Be 'true'! Put your money where your mouth is

The rest will follow, even if you aren't the big 'Kahuna'.

PS: sorry, long comment and a lot of '' use :)


In my experience if your employees (me) show these signs we don't think you suck we know you suck.

Why don't we keep you in the loop? Well, you're not technically competent enough to understand the problem so I go straight to the devs on whatever issue I'm dealing with, explaining it to you is a waste of my time. This also leads into why we ignore you; you don't understand the issue, you can't fix it, you're effectively useless except for marking out schedules and having slightly higher authority than I do.

To be honest I don't understand why this is on HN. Since when did these simple, short, and obvious posts become amazing and worth reading?

Your employees probably think you suck as a manager because you do.


> To be honest I don't understand why this is on HN. Since when did these simple, short, and obvious posts become amazing and worth reading?

I've only been reading HN for a short while, but my impression thus far is that the people just sort of throw up a post for everything they run across that seems even slightly interesting, and, well, see what sticks... :]

I read HN via the RSS feed, and it's way ahead of everything else I read in terms of article-count.

[This is in contrast with sites like, e.g., slashdot—however horrible its editors are (and it's true, they are), it does have editors...]


> To be honest I don't understand why this is on HN. Since when did these simple, short, and obvious posts become amazing and worth reading?

I think some people just read the title think "yes, this looks like something I want to read on hn" and upvote.

It's the lazy thing to do, I know I have done it sometimes and sometimes I have regretted doing it. The problem is that there is no way to withdraw an upvote and the upvote arrow is right there beside the title beckoning you to click it now, not to wait after you read the article and then come back.

Possible solutions: run a content extractors on links weight votes with length, open links in a frame, put up upvote arrow with the content, add de-upvote arrow.


I upvoted this article, not because I think it's good, actually I disagree with everything in it. I upvoted it because I wanted to hear what the HN community had to say about it.


This stuff may not be so obvious to a newly appointed manager who does suck. Remember the Dunning-Kruger effect and all that. Mind you, the article does feel light and could probably be done much better. But what seems obvious can very much depend on the person, and people can be incredibly oblivious to what others think of them (I have to admit that I've been there myself).


Missing from the list: they quit and go elsewhere.


An analogy I try to keep in mind is that often as a manager you are in charge of manning the rudder and steering the ship in the right direction. Typically, you get a great seat on the boat and the laborious job of motility is left to someone else. Without a team of people dipping their oars into the water, though, you're just adrift.

Managers often lose sight that their job should be the least selfish role in the organization and that their job is really determined by the success or failure of those they manage. Your job is to facilitate your employees, not handle them. Your job is to nurture their talents and help them with their faults. The greatest success a manager can have is helping someone live up to their potential.


According to the article, your job as a manager should be to interrupt them with one-on-one meetings where they teach you what you should already know and then discipline them for not being back in the office at 1:00 PM exactly.


I think the devil is in the details here. Yes, all of these things could slide into micromanagement if the intent and execution of them are not done properly. I've had experiences with managers who want to meet every week for a one-on-one, regardless of whether it's needed or not and it had to be endured for the full duration. It was miserable. On the other hand, having a bi-monthly meeting where I know that I have my manager's undivided attention to ask questions or air grievances is great. Not to mention, on the other side of the ball, it's a great time to be able to gauge the stress level of the employee and ensure that they are happy with where they're at.

As for the educating the manager part, I understand where you're coming from. You shouldn't have to sit down and teach your manager what the MVC pattern is, or how it's implemented in the language your company is using. You want to bring Grails into an organization that's never seen it before? Okay, I can understand explaining the technology to those folks above you, giving them the pros and cons of working with it and letting them make a decision on whether it's the right fit for the organization.


First, yes there are some very good managers. However, this is a pointless article as the typical jackass manager would never even wonder if his/her employees thinks he/she sucks. In fact, reading a blog or thinking at this deep of a level would be a huge stretch for them, so they won't even see this article. There are some managers out there that I literally could not comprehend them reading a blog article and thinking about it critically.


I partially agree with you post. Primarily the portion on keeping your manager out of the loop.

From my experience working in in IT, if you aren't in the loop about various matters that is not a good sign. Personally, I keep my manager out of the loop because she makes the problem 10x worse. Even then when I do discuss matters, she isn't willing to own any decisions.

A manager should be a people and idea cultivator. That is a very rare breed to find.


You guys cry a lot about being forced to read stuff. Harden up, or get back to work. Jesus.


more importantly, how do you get your sucky manager to read that article without being too obvious?




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