Good Manager vs Bad Manager

I was recently reading a blog post in which the author asked their readers what they liked about their best & worst managers. There were a lot of replies to the post and I thought it would be nice to summarize what was said, in the hope that this would share some light on the good & bad practices that you do.

Bad Managers...

  • Always presented your work as their own.
  • Hoarded information from the rest of the team.
  • Would not make decisions and were very difficult to get hold of.
  • Never thanked you for doing a good job
  • Never took our 1:1 sessions seriously and would always reschedule or cancel them on a regular basis.
  • Didn't believe in people and actively brought them down which broke their confidence.
  • Had clear office favourites.
  • Thought that they were above everyone else and were not prepared to help out when it was needed the most.
  • Treated people as a subordinates.
  • Acted in a rude or condescending manner, where anyone "below" them need to be "put in their place"
  • Always assumed that their way was correct. When they did listen to other people's opinion, they never really took them into consideration.
  • Abused the good nature of the team, by asking them to constantly come in on weekends and work late.
  • Didn't clearly communicate expectations and got upset when the end goals were not achieved.
  • Feel like they have to be the best in the team. They fail to understand that everyone has something to bring to the table.
  • Extremely manipulative and almost impossible to trust.
  • Gave you the silent treatment and didn't bother in resolving the actual problem.
  • Get annoyed when you ask questions and say things like "You should know this by now!"

Good Managers...

  • Gave credit where credit was due, especially in front of higher level managers.
  • Always gave employees the benefit of the doubt.
  • Made sure that you have what you need to get the job done and then they get out of the way.
  • Would have regular 1:1's with their team to make sure that everything was going okay.
  • Always told us the actual problem to be solved as opposed to how to solve it.
  • Actively defended their team and stood up for them.
  • Treated team members as collaborators.
  • Created an environment where it was safe & even encouraged to ask questions.
  • Gave tasks that challenged them and also gave them the autonomy they needed.
  • Understood that mistakes happen and tried to find solutions to prevent them from happening again, instead of blaming people.
  • Understood that people have lives outside of work and sometimes people need to leave work early, or work from home. This understanding goes a long way.
  • Shared information amongst the team freely and encouraged people to do the same as well.
  • Understood that everyone works differently as some people require constant feedback, whereas some people just prefer to be left alone.
  • Know that failure will happen at some stage and seeks to remedy the situation as soon as possible.
  • Understood that work needs to be fun as well and to have a sense of humor.
  • Spread their knowledge amongst the team, so that when they left, the team could function just as well.
  • Allowed us to present the work we completed to the product owner and not taking credit for it.

As I was going through the page I often found myself agreeing to quite a few of the comments that were being made. It made me more aware of somethings that I am & am not doing, so I hope that it will provide you with something similar.

Until next time...keep learning!

Mauro Da Silva

Learning everyday about software development, leadership & self improvement

South Africa