Really, Really Bad Management – How to Recognise

JFK_2008I’ve already said that I just can’t stand bad management but how do you recognise it?  Here are some basic guidelines.

Bad planning shows itself by being caught out constantly by events and getting regular surprises.  Managers who spend their time on operational tasks rather than management are particularly guilty of bad planning.  Thinking about the future may feel like you are doing nothing but if you don’t do it and fail to create a plan you have almost no chance of being able to inspire and lead staff.  Being a victim of events is a clear sign of bad management.

Poor organising skills results in staff being unclear about their roles and responsibilities.  It is also likely to mean that key resources are not lined up to be where they need to be at the right time.  Confusion abounds around bad organisation, resources are wasted and people switch off.

Sloppy leadership follows from bad planning because without a strategy, a vision of the future and no clear destination people become demotivated.  Work becomes a series of unconnected tasks just carried out because of habit and custom.  Where there is bad leadership there is often a great deal of internal conflict, complaints, moaning, confusion and general cynicism.

Inadequate control results in poor measurement of key performance measures.  Failure to measure results properly means that problems go unreported and more importantly unresolved.

This brief description of really, really bad management is not supposed to be exhaustive – clearly there are many symptoms of bad management.  Nonetheless the signs listed here produce truly awful results and create misery and a sense of hopelessness amongst staff.

Your thoughts on bad management are welcomed.

I raise money for the Alzheimer’s Society in the UK – a very small donation at would be most appreciated.

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