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How do you deal with a Problem Manager

By Lodai ·
I am one of 6 IT Support people in our dept and our Manager is one of the most inept people I have ever met/worked with. He is a typical "YES" man to anyone above his position, but to anyone equal or what he deems "beneath" him, every request is an automatic and emphatic "NO". Every annual budget that he submitted for our dept. was so thin that our OT budget for past years was blown in January. We are barely keeping our heads above water with the equipment that we use. When we request equipment upgrades he says that he can do his job fine with what he has. His managing style is to leave whenever a situation arises, then when it is solved, he takes the credit for it. Talking to him about this was akin to beating our heads against a brick wall that has been reinforced with another brick wall. We have brought up these problems with his boss, as well as HR. BUT he has pulled the wool so far over their eyes that our group has been labeled a "problem group" and that anything we say is not to be believed.

Help!!! Any ideas out there as to what we can do?

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Re: Advices

by tben In reply to How do you deal with a Pr ...

I used to have a problem manager as well, he gives an automatic and emphatic "NO" to any suggestions and ideas from everyone (including the IT Dept), unless someone is willing to summon the ultimate beast (AKA Management) to chew on him. And usually, at the request of the Beast, his answer will turn from a NO to an immediate "YES".

Revert divert all his responses to the general users.

But main strategy is not to remain unhappy with him. Because us being upset and full of wrath will help the situation. Alot of times, I survived by playing him in his own game. Citing him as the reason to all the "NO" and leaving the dirty work of summoning the beast to the rest of the users or requestors.

By doing so, he will not be able to pull anymore wool before the general public. And hopefully, the managment will see who are the real people that are responsible for the "problem group".

I always quote my own opinion before answering any queries from the users, before quoting "his" opinion.

It took my management 1 3/4 of a year to realise this problem and he was terminated after a long period of suffering.

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Post your bosses resume, not yours

by mchap03 In reply to Re: Advices

I am surprised that no one has suggested to post your bosses resume to any of the job web sites that exist out there.

In fact its simpler to create someone else's resume than yours. Next you know, that person recieve's a better job offer and leaves, or upper managment finds out that the manager is looking and is no longer around. Bottom line, you no longer have a problem.

Its sneaky and maybe un-ethical, but its a solution.

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Unbelievable!!!

by Sven Thirion In reply to Post your bosses resume, ...

I can't believe you suggested this. This is totally unethical!!! I really hope you're kidding! This is NOT a solution. What if someone doesn't like you decides to submit your resume and got you fired? How would you feel?

I agree with the previous post to go directly to the management, as a group, not by yourself, otherwise you might be looked upon as being a 'trouble maker' and they might fire you instead of having to replace a manager.

Better might be to quote him when a user comes to you with a problem: "sorry can't do ..." and yes, keep a record. Create a paper trial of your correspondence. Have your suggestions, requests and his "no" on paper.

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Great idea!

by R.E.Man In reply to Post your bosses resume, ...

I think this is a great idea! Heh heh heh ...

One can say a lot about such an action, but "unethical?" How? ("What if someone doesn't like you decides to submit your resume and got you fired?" strikes me as a non sequitir -- unless you deliberately submit your boss's resume in reply to a blind ad you know to have been placed by your own company!)

You're not forcing her/him out of a job. You're not lying. You're not cheating or defrauding. To be nice, you might keep her/his name confidential (so it doesn't get back to your company). And you should keep the resume truthful.

S/he may be contacted, but can always say no, and if s/he's bothered, s/he can request removing the resume from the site where it's posted. OTOH, if something better comes along, it could be a win-win situation.

The only "ethical" question in my mind concerns the effect on the unsuspecting future employer, potentially saddled with a real dunce. (But, then, this would be true also if your boss had posted the resume on her/his own.)

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I like your thinking

by wbaltas In reply to Post your bosses resume, ...

I've never thought of this. I just might give it a try at the company I work for.

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Unprofessional

by johanv In reply to Post your bosses resume, ...

in a professional field. Thank God that managers generally have more common sense to believe rubbish such as what you are dreaming up.

Can I let you in on a secret? Management actually discuss job searches and individual managers either coach replacements or hire their replacements themselves.

Your suggestion will backfire and your CV will reflect it for a lifetime.

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Leading from within a team and building relatinships with Superiors

by simonodell In reply to Unprofessional

No wonder many IT teams end up with managers like this if there are people out there taking this sort of approach! My advice is to not fall into the age old trap of traditional organisational structures of being part of the hierarchy! Many people can not grasp the fact that leadership can come from within a team, it doesn?t have to come from those with positional power. Those that rise above the obstacles put in their way make it to the top, leaving manager like the one described behind!

Why not take a different approach and build an effective relationship with your manager. Understand there world and adapt to there style. Once you have done this you will be surprised how they actually begin to listen to you. Why is ?NO? the only option and yet it becomes a ?yes? when more senior managers get involved? Only then can you effectively begin to change the behaviour to something more positive.

These situations are often greater than an individual. Is it something you can change or is it the culture of the organisation? My personal view is if the culture doesn?t allow for this type of behaviour he won?t last long anyway. Don?t be so na?ve to think he can continue to ?pull the wool? over peoples eyes in an organisation that has a culture that doesn?t allow this type of behaviour. If the culture allows it though, maybe it?s you who should consider a move, for you good of your own career!

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Best Advice

by brent In reply to Leading from within a tea ...

Right on. I may be fresh out of school, but I think that gives me the ability to look at this in an unobjective manner. You're right.

Anyone who's ever wanted to make a move towards the top and keep a firm foundation of support beneath them as they move, knows that usurping authority is not the way to do it. All that will get you is an office full of sharks waiting for you to fall off of the boat.

To be sucessful, you must adapt, you can't force others to adapt or die. This is business, not the Amazon. One of the major points taught in all of my leadership and management classes, is that you have to understand whom you are dealing with. If something you disapprove of is going on, you can't just push it out of your way and expect it to not happen again.

I think what should be done in this management situation is definitely again of understanding the manager in question. Find out why he does things the way he does them. Only after knowing his motivations can you affect change in his management style.

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Naive view of management

by secretgeekygirl In reply to Leading from within a tea ...

<i>Don?t be so na?ve to think he can continue to ?pull the wool? over peoples eyes in an organisation that has a culture that doesn?t allow this type of behaviour</i>

Pul-lease!! This sort of thing exists everywhere! Inept bosses/managers who made it to that position by some sort of miracle, or from knowing the right people - NOT from their skills, and any desire/ability to communicate.

If you truly think that just talking to this person and trying to understand his style will work, you have not been in the workforce very long yourself. Horrible bosses, or those who love to be brown-nosed are everywhere.

Leadership OFTEN comes from within a strong team. The problems are many - these true leaders are not being recognized (and often, slimy bosses go out of their way to make sure it does not happen), and they are not being paid the leadership salaries. To assume that leadership will always be seen, noted and promoted is truly naive.
Each company has their own way of dealing with people. If the OP's boss was somehow wedged himself into a position of favor, you can't do a thing about it. What you CAN do, is what someone else suggested - DOCUMENT out the wazoo. Every no, every scoff, every equipment purchase turndown, document it. Back up your documentation. When someone calls about a problem, indeed, quote the big cheese. It will get back to him soon enough. The responsibility for the bad decisions and lack of true leadership needs to fall back on the poor management where it belongs.
Meanwhile, I'd be looking for another position. Do you REALLY want to work for a company who thinks your current boss is top notch material? Dust off your resume, upgrade your skills and start looking for yourself. At the end of the day, the only one who will care about your job (or lack of it, or any contentment whatsoever with your job) is YOU. Not your current boss, not your boss' boss, not even the CEO. No one but you. So, what do YOU want to do? network and find a company whose style fits more closely with your own. Good luck to you -

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Get your resume together

by CharlieSpencer In reply to How do you deal with a Pr ...

Why are you putting up with the situation? Is the job market that bad in Toronto? Leave.

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