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Bias against action: There are always plenty of reasons not to take a decision, reasons to wait for more information, more options, more opinions. But real leaders display a consistent bias for action.
Secrecy: “We can’t tell the staff,” They defend this position with the argument that staff will be distracted, confused or simply unable to comprehend what is happening in the business.
Preference for weak employees:
Poor management often feel threatened by the competent employee and hadn’t the confidence to know that you must always hire people smarter than yourself.
Focus on small tasks:
Staying away from the strategy and not having the ability to delegate and give the team room to do their job, instead focusing on small tasks is another flag of a really bad manager.
Allergy to deadlines:
A deadline is a commitment. The manager who cannot set, and stick to deadlines, cannot honor commitments. A failure to set and meet deadlines also means that no one can ever feel a true sense of achievement. You can’t celebrate milestones if there aren’t any.
Addiction to consultants:
A common — but expensive — way to put off making decisions is to hire consultants who can recommend several alternatives. While they’re figuring these out, the team cannot and don’t have to do anything.
And when the consultant’s choices are presented, the ensuing debates can often absorb hours, days, months. Meanwhile, the organization is poorer but it isn’t any smarter. When the consultant leaves, takes the money and his increased expertise out the door with him.
In my experience, bad managers work very long hours. They think this is a brand of heroism but it is probably the single biggest hallmark of incompetence. To work effectively, you must prioritize and you must pace yourself.