Smart Managers And Subordinates

How should #OfficeSmart managers and subordinates view each other?

Being in middle management position in a corporation I have acquired experience as subordinate as well as manager by making mistakes and learning lessons at both levels.

Sharing some thoughts – in the form of aphorisms – to put things in perspective for managers and subordinates as to how each should view the other in office.

Managers fail by being too nice to subordinates. Subordinates fail by expecting too high ethics from the management. Because in being so, both lose focus from what matters at each level.

A manager does not need to be nice at the cost of work extraction from subordinates. A subordinate does not need to expect high management ethics at the cost of good relation with the manager.

That is, of course, if they want to succeed in the company. (Success = recognition from superiors > growth).

A manager should be concerned with getting the subordinates’ work, not their respect. Subordinates should be concerned with the manager’s respect, not his work (management style towards them).

If subordinates give work and don’t respect the manager, it should not matter to the manager. If the manager respects the subordinate but his management style is bad, it should not matter to the subordinate.

Some managers worry about losing subordinates’ respect and fail to extract work. Some subordinates overtly keep finding fault with the management style and fail to earn respect of the manager.

Both of the above – managers who overrate respect from subordinates and subordinates who underrate respect from the manager – are playing it wrong.

An office is not a place where one should expect to find saints (message to subordinates), nor should one expect to reap rewards for being saintly (message to managers).

Office smartness is to have only and only one focus that is growth, and doing what it takes to grow in the company. Ethics are useful only insofar as they serve the goal.

Share this post with anyone you know who is working in office. I’ll also post more thoughts on this topic on Twitter with hashtag #OfficeSmart. Follow me.


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