Lessons From Bad Management


One major reason we became Talent Anarchists was to fight back against the bad management we’ve experienced along our journeys. So, I thought it might be fun to share some of the stories of bad management we’ve seen along the way with the lessons we’d learned from them.

One story that I’ve told several times recently is about the importance of connection to people as a leader. I once worked for a large employer where I got shuffled around from one manager to the next during my tenure. However, through my rotation of immediate managers, one thing remained constant–my boss’ boss was always the same woman. During the course of a year, she was always the boss of my rotating bosses.

Despite this woman being my boss’ boss during my tenure at the company, I never once met her, spoke to her or interacted with her in any way. In fact, the only time I interacted with her was in a social setting outside of work and she didn’t have any idea who I was! She never made any effort at all to get to know her people. That’s poor leadership.

Leadership is about people. People will only follow a leader who they believe cares about them. Despite the fact that I will likely never meet President Obama, based on his words and actions, I feel like he cares about me a great deal more than this woman I used to work for. As a leader, it’s important to take the time to get connected to your people. Certainly, if you run a large organization, you may not be able to know everyone personally but you can be visible and accessible to them.

What stories come to mind for you?


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