RADIO SHOW/AUDIO PODCAST
Solutions...with Courtney Anderson! (SwCA)
Episode 173 -
Originally aired 8/21/2014 9:00 AM -
MANAGEMENT MAGICIANS series -
"Are Your Insecurities and Fears Preventing Employee Empowerment?”
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TALK SHOW EPISODE NOTES
Our MANAGEMENT MAGICIANS™ series is dedicated to those exceptional few who step forward to serve as guides, sages and responsible parties for others in pursuit of the greater good for society and their organization! These are managers who redefine their job titles to ensure their own personal contentment as they motivate, monitor and mentor their team members each day. The “magic” that a talented manager is able to create changes their lives, the lives of their team members and ripples throughout the larger society. We salute their sacrifices and share their techniques and “secrets” to achieving sustained positive experiences for themselves, clients, customers, peers, team members, and the public at large! This episode is, “Are Your Insecurities and Fears Preventing Employee Empowerment?”
To clarify, although this show is part of our MANAGEMENT MAGICIANS™ series we are obviously not addressing the existing management magicians when we discuss individuals who are suffering from insecurities and fears that hurt their organization (and themselves). These individuals may aspire to be management magicians in the future (or they may have been so at some time in the past and hope to return to that state). It is unhealthy for a person to be prevented from using logic and data to make decisions and instead to base actions on their fears and insecurities.
1) The sufferer of the afflictions of raging fears and insecurities needs help and treatment as soon as possible to get them on the path to recovery. Popular culture cruelly ridicules people afflicted with fears and insecurities that appear to be irrational (fear of butterflies, etc.). Aren’t all fears and insecurities equal? We will want to view our fears and insecurities as ‘real’ (and often have explanations for why they are rational). We want to view other people’s fears and insecurities as silly. Isn’t it all subjective? Isn’t the issue the fear and insecurity (and the toll they take) and not what triggers the fear and insecurity? We should not judge others as we are not immune to the same challenges.
2) What toll does the manager who is motivated by their fear and insecurity take on their organization?
From the Washington Post, “Recent Gallup research shows that 17 percent of people who quit their jobs leave because they can’t stand management or the work environment. In a 2009 survey, 35 percent of executives said that good employees are most likely to quit because of unhappiness with management — up from 23 percent in 2004. Another recent study found that between 28 and 36 percent of U.S. workers report persistent abuse at work. […] So that mean boss of yours? You might think it’s a personality disorder or blithe insensitivity. But it could be abnormal insecurity. […W]hen people are intellectually insecure, they come down hard on others — perhaps as a tactic for proving how smart they are. And, sadly, it works.” (http://www.washingtonpost.com/national/on-leadership/your-mean-boss-could-be-insecure/2012/07/12/gJQAiIZufW_story.html”
From Global Post, “When a manager has insecurities about his abilities and performance, the entire organization can suffer. In many cases this type of boss will have difficulty making decisions and delegating tasks. According to CNN Money, when your boss is insecure, he will do anything to make himself feel better, even at your expense. Expect questions on every action and criticism when things go wrong. Rather than show your frustration with an insecure boss, show your support to help him get past his insecurities. Dealing with an insecure manager requires attention to detail and a willingness to sacrifice your own ego to boost his.” (http://everydaylife.globalpost.com/deal-management-insecurities-10134.html)
From Forbes, “If you’ve ever worked with a micromanager, you know how unproductive and demoralizing it can be. This control freak is reluctant to delegate, may second-guess everything you do, and can shake your confidence in your own abilities. Simple tasks that you could accomplish quickly if left to your own devices take twice as long. Your efforts may be reduced to dust as the micromanager completely re-does your work. […] So better to master the art of managing the micromanager. Start by understanding what causes someone to act this way. Often it’s a need for control that stems from insecurity: lack of confidence, workplace instability and pressure to produce–both individually and as a team. Deep-seated psychological issues and problems at home can also influence the way people behave at work.” (http://www.forbes.com/sites/deborahljacobs/2012/05/07/how-to-manage-a-micromanager/)
From The Wall Street Journal, “All of us want to move up in our careers, but does your boss want that for you? Not necessarily, says Prashant Deo Singh, head of human resources and group affairs at electronics major Panasonic India Pvt. Mr. Singh says that many managers are insecure about their jobs, so they don’t let their subordinates’ shine. Instead, they might take credit for their employees’ work, adds Mr. Singh. When possible, such managers avoid hiring people who they think could replace them.
“This is one of the most serious mistakes that people managers make,” he says.” […] Also, we see a lot of bosses who are insecure. They tend to hoard information and don’t let their subordinates’ work be recognized by the company. They may delegate less work to their team members or not invest in their training. These bosses may favor employees who don’t challenge their authority. They could go to the extent of not hiring people who are smarter than them on fears that the employee could replace them.” (http://blogs.wsj.com/indiarealtime/2011/12/23/career-journal-beware-of-bosses-who-wont-let-you-succeed/)
Wow. Every single goal that an organization has to succeed (hire the best qualified, retain them, create culture of excellence, etc.) is destroyed by the nuclear weapon that a manager with fear and insecurity deploys. My tone in this show is strident but this is an issue that threatens the very existence of an organization. There are also debilitating personal consequences for the afflicted manager (physical, mental, emotional, etc.).
We must confront and eradicate these burdens from managers:
A) First, we never promote a person afflicted with these fears and insecurities into a management position.
B) Second, if an afflicted person is in a management position they must be removed immediately (while they are getting help and treatment to recover to a healthy state).
HELP IS AVAILABLE! If your firm has an EAP (employee assistance program) or similar benefit, take advantage of it and seek treatment immediately. Many of these fear and insecurity issues have roots in the environment of our early lives, “Attachment theory was spawned by the work of John Bowlby, who was the first psychologist to put forth the idea that underpins much of today’s psychotherapy: that a child’s intimacy and sense of security with his or her primary caregiver plays a crucial role in how secure that child will be as an adult.” (http://greatergood.berkeley.edu/article/item/how_to_stop_attachment_insecurity_from_ruining_your_love_life)
Article about insecurity, at http://psychcentral.com/blog/archives/2013/06/08/5-things-to-do-when-you-feel-insecure/.
Fears and insecurities do not have to doom us to a life of destructive behavior. We have to seek out the resources and treatment to change and free us from the burden of a life diminished by these imaginary monsters. Organizations and employers must ensure the safety of their entire staff by removing afflicted individuals from management positions and supporting them in their treatment and recovery. Protecting the staff from the destructive fear-based abuse and providing treatment resources to the afflicted manager are the simultaneous goals that must be acted on in concert.
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