As yet another series of The Apprentice draws to a close, I am starting to notice a disturbing trend: Managers within companies are to talking to their staff as per the ‘behaviour’ on reality tv programmes.
Reality tv programmes may, from time to time, make great television; but they don’t demonstrate good leadership or management skills. I’ve even know of a friend who told me that their manager had a “but I am your boss” conversation with them as per the title sequence on The Apprentice.
Ruth Badger, last year’s runner up, may have forged herself a great tv career as a troubleshooter, but I fear that the staff in companies where she arrives are being intimidated and bullied into accepting change. Yes, the company is failing, but the problem seems to stem from the skills (or lack of them) from the manager/owner rather than the skills or talents of the staff they have recruited. Whatever management role you are in, shouting at your staff, patronising them, or intimidating them into doing ‘what they are told’ is not the sign of a successful company. If you are a manager and reading this, take 5 minutes to think about a time when you delegated a task and didn’t get the results you wanted. What could you have done differently and how could you have ensured that your colleagues understood your request? You don’t necessarily have to admit to anyone but yourself that you’ve been making mistakes, as long as you realise that now is the time for change. There are lots of good managers out there, and lots of information and training as to how to be a good manager. Make sure you and your colleagues work as a team for the right reasons, not the wrong ones.