Boss “Tough But Fair” or a Manipulative Leader?

Boss “Tough But Fair” or a Manipulative Leader?

What makes a Tough but Fair Boss?
A tough boss is one who holds his employees accountable with strict guidelines and high demands for performance and excellence. He does not coddle people or tolerate excuses from those who fall short of the stated goals. But he is also fair. He sets the performance bar high and gives his employees all the tools they need to succeed. He protects them from adversity within the organization and he backs them with their clients and customers. He believes that people perform at their peak if they understand what is needed to be done and they have the means to take the action to get it done. People admire him and want to work for him. Those who are afraid to be challenged avoid him and those who want to succeed embrace the opportunity to learn from the master.

What makes a Manipulative Leader?
A manipulative leader believes that intimidation, humiliation, and threats to his employees are good business practices. He will tease his employees, pit one against the other, and keep moving the performance bar until everyone feels he is unfair and unreasonable. He promises rewards and then finds an excuse to not deliver. His employees frightened and confused. And most important he believes that these supervisory tactics produce results because these scare tactics are necessary to make people produce. He thinks that people will not produce unless they are threatened.

If you are a manipulative leader, your days are numbered.

Your Employees are Leaving You
Regardless of what accomplishments you have achieved with “stick” management, fewer and fewer employees are willing to tolerate the pain of your style of management. They will leave you or they will file complaints or they will do both. Those who stay will underproduce because they will be filled with fear and resentment. Your bottom line will suffer. You will be identified as a problem instead of as a producer. It’s time for you to learn new ways to lead and succeed.

Boss: What You Should do Now

Reassess your perspective on managing others. Read some best-selling books on management through empowerment and motivation. Get feedback from your boss and HR on how others see you. Are you tough but fair? Ruthless? In trouble? Review your numbers: successes, failures, turnover, sales, lost sales, etc. Seek guidance from a Conflict Consultant who can help you change your style and regain your status and success.

I’m Kathleen Bartle, a strategic consultant on workplace conflict to executives worldwide for more than 20 years. My work brings individualized solutions to your teams’ lost productivity, loss of key personnel, low morale, and the high costs resulting from bullying, abrasive behaviors and interpersonal workplace conflicts. You can contact me here.