Does your line manager behave like this…..

8 May

Well recently I was in canteen, having masala dosa in the evening. I was somewhat alone enjoying Masala dosa and was also watching TV. We have television in the cafeteria and then next to my table, three senior managers come and sat and started discussing about their project in which they all were working. Maybe they were all in delivery management. Each of the them had one or other reason to complain about their leads/Project Manager or Client representative as how they are been under extreme pressure to deal with. They were all taking about pressure coming on them from their senior folks and how when they try to implement it, it was just that they were getting failure and were getting lot of escalation from the client side. One of the manager even when down to the level where he just started abusing his Project lead by taking up his personal issues.

I was sitting on the table and was just pretending to be watching TV but in fact I was concentrating on their discussion. All these discussion reminded me of the project which I was working for some year back and one of senior manager had used me as the scapegoat for escaping . Well I came to know about this from one of my team members. Now why I am writing about it, reason is simple that people should not again fall victims working with such a irresponsible managers, Below are the some of symptoms these manager show,

1. They will never give you a power to implement a decision even if you are a senior person having experiences in similar project.

2. They will not give you a required visibility in front of other senior folks from other teams.

3. They will not give you required information in time. Mail will be forwarded to you next day and not instantly.

4. They will promise you a moon when they are facing some escalations from clients or they have some deliverables that has to given to client.

5. They will always try to gather as much information as possible regarding you, and this process could also mean taking the team members to the restaurant or bar and extracting information from them. Well they do this because they want to validate their perceptions. Senior folks should believe in facts and based on those facts, they need to build perceptions about any person. Perceptions are extremely fatal for senior professional.

6. It does not matter for them whether you put 10 hrs a day or 15 hrs a day. They will always ask you come early to the office. Reason for asking this team can claim the over time.

7. And whenever some escalation comes for some reason, they are going to write at least 500 words mail to senior folks and some citing that organization’s creditability is at stake .Forget about asking why/what/how this has happened or can resolved. Almost all the time, they show extreme panic behavior.

8. They pretend to be team player in mails or in front of their superiors and but in real field they don’t even know what ground staff is doing.

9.They will add their mail id to project group mail id and pretend in front of their management, that they are aware of everything, but in fact all these mails goes to the junk folder or folder which is created specifically for storing these mails.

10.Sometimes they will attend the conference call with you and then in front of others in call will dictate the terms or tasks.Remember they do this all to show their power. It is not important for them to understand who the audience is, and what value his team will have in front of those audience later on.

11. In almost all these cases I have seen, these people show good communication skills along strong empathy towards the task or assignment or project. But in reality, they are the ones who give very sweet reasons and push the ball.

It’s very important to know and understand the type of person you are working with when you go into the project which is highly charged and has lot of complexities in it. Project of high complexity will always have people issues and will always be in the radar of very senior management. So if you feel that your line manager is showing at least 2 or 3 characteristics discussed above, then you need to be very cautious or just move out of the project. You are not going to get any experiences other than learning as how to make people scapegoats or how convince management that we are dealing with beast or impossible task.

Now definitely you might be thinking that I am looking at one side of the coin and not other side, I personally believe that other side is not important at all. Companies pay 7 digits salaries to deliver the project and people are selected on the project because management feels that that they are capable of doing this assignment .If for some reason, team members are not able to perform or we are seeing heavy escalation, then we need to stick together and resolve the issues rather than doing finger pointing. Do we throw a anyone from our family just because he is not earning enough or has some problems? Same principle applies for senior folks…

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