All posts by Melinda Longoria, MSM

Author - Masters of Science in Business Management with Leadership studies from Texas A&M University.

Office Politics Strategies: Maintaining an Underachieving Workforce

promising employee

 Office Politics Strategies: Maintaining an Underachieving Workforce

As a bad boss, I like underperformers in my department. They make me look like I am the only one who is capable of leading the pack. Therefore, maintaining an underachieving workforce is one of my main jobs. Promoting underachievers makes me look even better (when they fail). When a promotion comes around, I find that promoting an underachiever is in my best interest. Never promote a promising employee as they may become competition for you in the future. It’s an office politics strategy.

The promising employee gives me a bit of a challenge. A promising employee is one who shows great potential to successfully make it big time within the organization.

They are the star performers. They just do their jobs faster and more effectively. There is really nothing wrong with them but they are a source of endless headache, stress, and sleepless nights for me.

Since day one as a bad boss, I knew that my very existence in the organization depended on identifying and neutralizing the promising employees. Like a hawk scouting for its prey, I can spot a promising employee a mile away.  I can smell, hear, and see a promising employee long before anyone in the organization does.

Fortunately for me, most promising employees are the innocent ones too, hence they easily fall prey to my neutralizing tactics. My neutralizing techniques are quite simple, but prove very effective in handling promising employees.

Neutralizing Promising Employees:

  • “That is what I was thinking”.  Always automatically utter this sentence to the promising employee whenever the subject comes up to discuss a new idea. You may never know anything about the new idea but this solves that problem. It covers your ignorance up by saying that the idea is nothing new with a disinterested look.
  • “I have a job for you, which I am supposed to do, but I can’t at the moment”. – Give the promising employee a job which they are not comfortable doing. These are prone to fail: an unpopular assignment, an office politics maneuvering move, a balancing act, or anything with an uncertain consequence. In addition, if the promising employee fails then it is just the employee’s fault and too bad for him because it was a test. If however, the employee succeeds, then take credit as the one in charge.
  • “Great work!” – Always privately praise the promising employee but never in public or officially. A bad boss should do these very discreetly. It should never be reflected in any award, public praise, promotion, or salary increase. This is cheaper and safer for the big boss’ hiney.
  • “I can’t rate you perfect even if you are as per the evaluation tool because you will have no more room for improvement.” – Tell the promising employee during his or her performance evaluation that a perfect rate could just not be given. Giving a perfect rating to the promising employee would not be realistic because no one is perfect.
  • “You are not yet ready and you still have a lot to learn.” – Always make the promising employee doubtful of him or herself. A bad boss makes the promising employee feel inadequate and lacking. Neutralize the potential of the promising employee to the extent that he or she will not be encouraged to bravely meet success.
  • “I am sorry but I have to let you go.” – Know when it is time to fire a promising employee. When all else fails and the promising employee just keeps on succeeding, then it’s time to say goodbye.  Despite the hard work and efforts of a promising employee, at the end of the day if it will make you feel insecure in any way then it’s the highway for the promising employee.

The moral of the story is simple. A bad boss hates promising employees. For the bad boss this makes him or her look inadequate and outmoded. If you were in the bad boss’ shoes you will certainly feel insecure. As a result, the bad boss will huff and puff and blow the promising employee down.

 Underachiever is Promoted over Hard Worker due to Office Politics:

Disclaimer: Bad Boss posts are mean to be humorous and should not be taken seriously.

The Micromanager Boss – The Progress Nazi

The Micromanager Boss

The Micromanager Boss –

The Progress Nazi

I am the micromanager boss. Employees who like to work independently, think that I am their biggest nightmare. You could call me the progress nazi. I use my authoritarian leadership style to provide clear directions, explain when tasks should be done, and how they should be done with no input from my employees.

As a progress nazi, I check on my employee’s work every 2 to 3.5 minutes. Any employee who falls short, of my unmeetable expectations, will be moved closer to my office where I can have a better view of their computer monitor and watch their keystrokes like a hawk.

If it were up to me, I would install cameras over each of their desks, but that is not in our budget. So instead, I move my chair around the office and devote much of my time sitting next to each employee to watch over their shoulder.

That’s right! As a control freak, I am the dictator of my office. I must directly make each and every decision, be the head of significant assignments, and provide detailed direction for every menial task that my employees take.

The only ideas that I need to hear are my own. My employees just need to listen and learn from me. I never seriously consider their ideas or opinions. Whenever an idea is brought to my attention, frequently I will cut this individual off mid-sentence.

There will be no escaping from me! If any employee attempts to sneak into an empty meeting room to do their work, I will find them. I know where each of my employees are at all times. Consider me a human gps locator. Leaving your desk is never an option!

Headphones and music are not allowed in my office! Employees should be strictly focused on their work at all times. Music distracts from work progress which is unacceptable! Progress must continue without delay!

Most of the time, I feel that I am the only one who takes this job seriously. Being a progress nazi, in my opinion, is therefore good management. Accepting responsibility for everything that’s done falls to me.

“If you want something done well, you’ve got to do it yourself”.

  • The Progress Nazi

Disclaimer: Bad Boss posts are meant to be humorous and should not be taken seriously.

How to Micromanage like a Real ass****

Some interesting articles on the subject of the micromanager:

The Awesome Power of Taking Credit For Others Work

taking credit1

The Awesome Power of Taking Credit for Others Work – Like a Bad Boss

 

Are you familiar with the song, “The Wind Beneath My Wings”, by Bette Midler?  Quite touching actually.  “It must have been cold there in my shadow…to never have sunlight on your face.”  That’s how the song starts.   It is about someone who is soaring high up in the sky (figuratively, of course) while something or someone is pushing him up…the wind beneath his wings.

As a boss, I sometimes feel that way…flying high above the sky while my subordinates underneath me are pushing me up, up and away!  Obviously, they are there to support me.  What else do they need to do?  I sometimes think of myself as the Queen and they are my peasants, waiting for something to do while I bask in glory, idolized by many.  My colleagues ask, “How do you do it?” and I say, “Well, you know me, that’s my expertise.”

I can’t tell the CEO that it was Jerry who did that fabulous presentation to the client that saved the day; or it was Marta who thought of the marketing strategy that increased sales by 30%.  Oh no, that would be the start of the end of my career.  Would I give upper management the chance to think of me as the no good middle manager?  Ha!  I’m wiser than that.  At least, I pretend to be.

I know my limits and my capabilities.  That’s why my team is there.  To make up for what I don’t have.  Don’t know what marketing strategies to present to the Management Committee?  Ask Jerry.  How do I explain the inclusions of that contract and their relevance to the project?  There’s Bob.  And the wonderful sales funnel, who did that?  Of course not me!  But it doesn’t matter.  What matters is I’m the one who presented those to the gods that be of the company; those people who decide who will get the promotion and that whopping salary increase and bonuses.

Hmmm, I wonder who that lucky gal will be?  You guessed it right!  That lucky gal who would get the whopping salary increase, bonuses and that wonderful promotion would be me!  Every time is my time to shine.   It would just confuse Mr. CEO and President if I tell them who did what.  He doesn’t need to know.  Does he?

Well, that’s how it is at the office…my office where I am the boss.  That’s just too bad for those little peasants of mine.  They have to do better than what they’re doing right now to fly higher than me.  I’m just too smart to let them take credit.  For now, they just have to settle as the “wind beneath my wings”.

How To Get The Credit For Other People’s Work:

Disclaimer: Bad Boss posts are meant to be humorous and should not be taken seriously. Some interesting articles on taking credit for others work:

King Joffrey is My Bad Boss HERO! – Game of Thrones

King Joffrey

King Joffrey is My Bad Boss HERO! – Game of Thrones

King Joffrey is my bad boss hero! His Game of Thrones character can teach us a lot about how to get ahead of the corporate game early, secure the best career adviser,  be a bad boss; or the office tyrant:

Get ahead of the game early. – Claw your way to the top before anyone else! Use any means necessary to secure your position. So what you if you don’t know how to lead, you can learn later. Because, everything you already know came from your mother; which brings us to our second point.

Learn the best strategies from your mother. – Since you’ve secured your position early, you will need to call your mom to discuss any work-related questions. Do not rely on your own work experiences or  critical thinking skills, because at this point you have none. Trust no one else but your mom; in fact…

Violence solves problems. – Since you are such an inexperienced leader, you will need to use violence to secure your authority and power from position. Your mom likes drama, so this behavior should please her.

Anyone who has wisdom or morality above your own deserves scorn. – These people should be seen as a threat. Their scholarly opinions, goodwill, and kindness makes you look bad. No one deserves our respect or honor.

Whine about everything! – If your project or anything in your department fails, go on the defense.

  • “Don’t look at me!”
  • “It’s ugly out there!”
  • “I don’t want to talk about it!”

Ill-Treatment is deserving of those who are beneath us. –

  • “Fire him! Fire all of them; I command it!”
  • “Go back out there and do your job!”

Tattling to upper management to get rid of competition. – If anyone becomes a threat, or you just don’t like them, go to upper management and tell them a story; even if you have to make one up.

Break Promises. Say one thing; and do the complete opposite. Tell your subordinate they did a great job on the task; you will let upper management know about it, but don’t. Offer a raise to increase productivity; & then go back on your word. Say they can have the day off; but then schedule them for the shift.

…and finally…

Don’t accept insults, always remind them who is boss…

 

Disclaimer: Bad Boss posts are meant to be humorous and should not be taken seriously.