Do you work for a tyrant? Do you have one working for you?

Article originally published in the Philadelphia Business Journal on November 10, 2014

Tyrants who disrespect their direct reports cause untold damage to the performance of their organization as well as make life miserable for those who work for them. These managers tend to micro-manage, blame others for their mistakes and sap the creativity, initiative and vitality from the workplace. They also adversely impact the ability of people to make decisions without “checking with the boss.”

No one can effectively do their job in an atmosphere of fear and intimidation. No employee should have to work in such a toxic environment. The best people don’t put up with it, and they eventually leave the company, resulting in a significant loss of talent that will adversely impact the firm’s performance and potential for growth.

I once worked for this type of manager and learned how to deal with him. One day, he was ranting about an issue, and I politely told him that I was going to leave his office. I said that when he calmed down and could discuss the issue in a rational way, we would again talk. I told him he could come to my office, or call me back to his office to discuss the issue. I don’t think anyone had ever said anything like that to him before. And yes, I was concerned about being fired for insubordination, but it was one of those moments when I had to change the dynamic between us. Twenty minutes later, he came to my office and in a calm and business-like manner, we discussed and decided on a strategy to resolve the issue at hand. He never treated me like that again.

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