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Monday, March 16, 2009

beware the overly nice manager

Of all the qualities you don't want in a manager, here's one that you might not have thought about: overly nice.

Over at U.S. News & World Report today, I talk about what the problems are with managers who are too nice. Please check it out and leave your own thoughts in the comments over there.


class-factotum said...

I had a boss who was too nice. When someone wanted our offices (five of us), he let them have them. Without asking why. Without fighting. My team and I had to move to interior cubicles. In a converted warehouse. Thirteen miles away. NO covered parking. In a neighborhood where there were daytime carjackings, including at these offices. He wouldn't fight for us.

On our big project, where we were designing the to-be system for an SAP conversion, we had a lot of brainstorming sessions that required -- REQUIRED -- conflict as we discussed various options. He couldn't stand it. He hated conflict. He would try to shut it down. You can't have a brainstorming session without conflict. You can't figure this stuff out without conflict. So when he was around, our meetings were completely unproductive.

His boss was equally spineless, so instead of replacing him, they just added another layer of management, thus complicating the matter.

The entire project failed. Fortunately, it wasn't until two years after he had laid me off, so I accept no culpability!