The Insecure Manager

by | Jul 2, 2012 | Blog, Managing Employees



The Insecure Manager

by | Jul 2, 2012 | Blog, Managing Employees | 2 comments


It seems that some people are born to manage – they do everything right. They are secure, confident men and women, who know how to get the best out of people. As a result, employees who report to these managers perform well and the teams that they manage, contribute positively to the organization. These managers know that the successes of their team members reflect positively on them as the group leader and they are quick to recognize and encourage talent.

Unfortunately, however, organizations are rife with poor managers. Too often, these are people who are thrust into management positions or made team leaders without the training and skills needed to successfully manage and lead a team.

Of the various kinds of poor managers that an organization can have, one of the most harmful, is the insecure manager. If unchecked, this kind of individual will create a hostile work environment and drive away top performers and hard-working employees.

An insecure manager is not difficult to spot as she/he will generally exhibit the following behaviours:

  • She/he is a perfectionist. The tiniest little mistake is blown out of proportion and brought to an employee’s attention.  However, she/he never makes mistakes – it is always someone else’s fault.
  • With the insecure manager, every mole hill is a mountain.
  • She/he prefers to correspond in writing so that she/he can point out an employee’s mistakes and tell them how the work should be done.
  • She/he never praises an employee’s work, no matter how well the employee performs or what other people say.
  • She/he micromanages everything.
  • She/he “sucks up and kicks down”.
  • She/he is threatened by an employee who is smart and intelligent and will always find ways to control such employees and put them down.
  • Every conversation with her/him is like a job interview – she/he will constantly tell you how experienced she/he is and what great skills she/he has.
  • She/he will constantly find ways to undermine the work of people who work for her/him.
  • To overcompensate for his/her insecurity, she/he will resort to bullying and power games.
  • She/he is quick to take credit for team successes but will blame everyone else if things don’t go as expected.

If the behaviours of insecure managers are not checked, either through training and counselling or by removing them as team leaders, they will eventually ruin an organization because good employees will be forced to vote with their feet and leave.

So what can you do if you are unfortunate enough to work for an insecure manager? Stay tuned as this will be discussed in a future post.

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