How to tell if you are a toxic manager (Proceedings)


How to tell if you are a toxic manager (Proceedings)

Aug 01, 2011

Why this? Why now?

     • Most common complaint of managers in veterinary medicine.
     • People join practices and leave doctors/owners/bosses.
     • We live in an era of consolidation and collaboration if we are to be successful providers.
     • Must address the "schism" between owners and doctors and front line employees.

The toxic employee

     • Highly Intelligent and Confident.
     • Not happy unless they are calling the shots.
     • Use "Toxic Tactics" to get their way.
     • Note to women: Rarely will you exhibit all of the characteristics of the alpha doctor), but you can have many.
     • It's about being socialized to be good collaborators and compromising.
     • Reach the "top" because they are natural leaders.
     • Comfortable with responsibility and being the "final word."
     • Get stressed when they DON'T have tough decisions to make.
     • They get such a charge out of being in control that they willingly take on more responsibilities than any normal human being would.
     • Genius and Madness are hard to separate.
     • Their greatest strengths are also their greatest weaknesses.
     • Independent and Action Oriented.
     • Take for granted extraordinarily high performance.
     • Expect the same in others.
     • "Impressive, but I wouldn't want to work for them!"
     • Think extraordinarily fast, hard to keep up with.
     • Prevents them from listening to others (especially those who do not alpha speak.)
     • Impatience causes them to miss subtle but important details (lack empathy).
     • They have opinions about EVERYTHING.
     • Rarely if ever admit to being wrong or incomplete.
     • They KNOW they are smarter than most people and learn very early to circumvent "rules."
     • "The rules don't apply to me."
     • As adults they believe that their insights are so unique that they put complete faith in their instincts.

Alpha males

Because their intuitions are often right, they feel justified in focusing on the flaws in other people's ideas or arguments. The results:
     • Co-workers are intimidated making learning difficult.
     • The more pressure the "alpha" feels the more he tends to shift his leadership style from constructive and challenging to intimidating or abusive.
     • Organizations become dysfunctional because people avoid dealing with the alpha male, work around him, or simply pay him lip service.
     • Unemotional and analytical in their cognitive style.
     • Eager to learn about business "things" but have little or no natural curiosity about people or feelings.
     • They rely on exhaustive data to make business decisions, but often make snap decisions about other people which they hold onto tenaciously.
     • They believe that paying attention to feelings (others or their own) detracts from getting the work done, making them surprisingly oblivious to the effect they have on others.
     • Judgmental of colleagues who cannot control their emotions.
     • Fail to notice how they often vent their own anger and frustration.
     • Often dismiss their own outbursts or minimize them as the rules "don't apply to the top dog."
     • They make great entrepreneurs or midlevel managers, but the more pressure they feel to achieve, the more their faults become weaknesses.
     • They find difficulty in the transition to inspirational leader.
     • It is at this stage in their career process that coaching can become helpful.