Bad Managers are Expensive

Is every manager in your company a good manager?

If you want to positively impact the bottom line in your business, there is one thing that will make a bigger difference than almost anything else — insist that all of your managers are good managers.

I am a big believer that people who are NOT scared, belittled, bullied, ignored, disrespected, or otherwise tortured by their manager add more value to the company.

That’s why I do so much work in organizations to help them to set a high standard for leadership, and to develop their managers into effective leaders of people.

Bad managers are out there

But not all companies or executives believe in this as there are many terrible people managers out there.

I regularly interact with people from companies in many industries, from all over the world, who are asking for help in how to deal with the ugly, soul-crushing problems that arise from having a bad manager.

On my Coaching Hour calls in my Executive Mentoring Group — I hear so many stories of truly bad managers from the leaders who attend. It’s easy to see the negative impact on the person who would otherwise be committed and productive — they are looking for help so that they can still be committed and productive, despite being tortured in some way by their bad manager.

Bad managers have a high cost to your business

With bad managers lurking about in your organization, people who should be doing work are instead getting confused, discouraged, frustrated, scared, and are simply not doing the right things for the business.

You need your managers to be engaging, motivating, supporting and facilitating the right work–not preventing it.

Bad managers wreak havoc. Bad managers cost growth and profit.

Here are more thoughts on the true cost of bad managers.

Here’s a sampling of bad manager behaviors I’ve been seeing lately and hearing about from members of my Executive Mentoring Group:

  • Poor communicators. People have no idea what they are thinking or deciding
  • Unable to think strategically. Torturing people with low value work and endless re-work
  • Lazy or disengaged in supporting the team or the team’s reputation in the company
  • Lack of decision making (will or ability)
  • Lack of accountability. Not owning important outcomes. Passing blame
  • Totally unavailable to talk to employees — ever
  • Poor planning and resource management
  • Unwilling, unable to give constructive feedback or deal with performance issues
  • Prevention of opportunities for development and visibility (either actively or just clueless)
  • Lack of ability to understand and make tradeoffs
  • Can’t stick to a long term plan, crisis driven
  • Solely politically motivated
  • A bully…

…this list goes on and on.

Insist on Having Good Managers

It will serve your business well to make sure that you select, support, train and set expectations about what is required of a good manager in your organization.

This is one of my favorite types of work to do with corporations — to train their managers to be good managers and leaders of people — because it makes such a huge difference not only to the bottom line, but to the health and sanity of everyone involved!

If you’d like to talk about developing and supporting your managers, or to learn about my leadership and professional development workshops for mid-level managers, contact me. I’d be happy to talk with you about your business and your managers.

You can find Patty at, follow her on twitter or Facebook, or read her books RISE and MOVE.

Are you a good manager? A quick checklist...
Formal vs. Informal Mentors