b Self-Helpless: True Tales of a Working Girl: A Hard Act to Follow

7/27/2006

 

A Hard Act to Follow

My father used to tell me that bosses sometimes did ridiculous things because of their egos. My general feeling on that is it’s OK to “act up” on occasion if the genius juices are flowing and the individual truly is great at what they do. Plus, as far as my experience goes, many of these people still keep an eye on their employees and take care of them. These are generally the people that preach – and live – the “work hard, play hard” motto.

However, to this day I have yet to bear witness to the rhyme and reason behind a manager’s antics. I’ve seen lots of acting up, but little evidence of brains behind the act. Poor me, I know.

I worked for several years in a sales capacity. As I’m sure you’re aware, different organizations take different approaches to sell their product or brand. One of the most interesting acts I caught along the way was one by a very bright (and well dressed) man who managed a group of account executives.

What I witnessed was no less than the most appalling display of ego imaginable. What’s even more amazing is that I was present, as was everyone else from the office, in a weekly sales meeting where the manager proceeding to pick on an account executive. He picked and picked so brutally that it was embarrassing for me to sit and watch. I know others were uncomfortable, however less sensitive to it since they had been exposed to this person’s behavior for some time. Eventually, the victim of the abuse broke down and cried. Right there, in the middle of the conference room.

I’m certainly not suggesting that this kind of behavior is acceptable, but really, if you need to admonish a subordinate – or anyone – please be sure to do so behind closed doors with only the applicable party present. Nobody needs to witness that, let alone deserves being on the receiving end of that.

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