I have high hopes for the future MBA holders of the world. I am hoping that as they get their feet wet in the working world and pursue this great degree, that they will learn from the example of their bosses, and move forward with the knowledge that sometimes, no matter how much education you have, there isn’t an excuse for being unbearable in the workplace.
I am writing this in light of a boss I know that single handedly turned a safe and secure corporate America into a horrific experience with his public relations stunts and lack of honesty. It is important to keep things in perspective, and realize that there are good things in every person. This is definitely true, and I would be able to easily sit down and write a list of this particular boss’ good qualities, but unfortunately the bad has outweighed the good. It compels me to write this so that future managers of the world know that some tactics are just not good, no matter how good your intentions may be.
In this particular company, we mentor young people, and they are deducted points and are punished accordingly for using vulgarities on campus. In turn, our president spends his days swearing up and down our hallways, within ear shot of the students. This sets the model for hypocrisy and though he has since had this brought to his attention and he has cut down significantly, he has still set the example of hypocrisy. This is a very difficult thing to reverse.
In other instances, this has been taken a little bit farther, by demanding loyalty from employees while demeaning them at the same time. Know that, as a manager, your leadership is most effective when other people feel as if you have “been there” at their level. People are going to respect you much more if you come alongside them instead of trying to be in front of them pulling the leash.
Bosses who are continually dishonest sometimes believe that it will not catch up with them because they are the head of a company. Chances are though, that your employees are on to you or soon will be, and there is always a higher up somewhere, somehow to complain to. People never like being lied to. It is probably the quickest way to violate any trust as well as being the most difficult to earn back.
Lying to scare, coerce, or convince employees to partake in whatever your wish is for them to do, is not going to get you anywhere in the long run. Your mother told you that honesty is the best policy. And really, they told the truth.
Know that integrity outruns deceit and that investment in people is going to outshine any investments in education. Recognize your audience and work accordingly. You have been put in a position of leadership for a distinct reason. You have been given a higher purpose. Use that in a positive way.