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Let me tell you a story…
There once was a company manager who was very good at most aspects of his job. He was smart, shrewd and strategic, but the one thing that let him down was his dislike of confrontation. During his time at a particular company – which we will call company X – he managed to increase sales and elevate the company’s image as a prospering enterprise, but like the proverbial duck on a pond everything on the surface seemed calm, efficient and easy. Looking below that calm surface there was turmoil and unrest.
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Now remember, I said that this manager lacked skills in confrontation? Well, of this manager’s two main charges one was lazy and incompetent, leaving the other one to shoulder more than his fair share. Everyone at the company was well aware of the situation and were constantly subjected to complaints from the manager about this persons poor performance, but time went on and nothing was done. The manager, who was responsible for staff morale, was not only failing to act on the issue, but was inflaming the situation with his complaints to anyone who would listen.
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By now the good worker was beginning to resent having to continuously pick up the slack and was re-thinking his commitment to the company. Both workers were employed to do the same roles for the same amount of hours at the same pay rate but the good worker was doing all the work.
This situation could easily have been resolved if the manager had done his job and confronted the lazy worker, but by now you've probably guessed what happened. That’s right – the good worker got fed up and found himself a new job at a company where he felt appreciated and acknowledged for his commitment.
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Company X lost its best worker and fell into chaos under the flawed leadership of the non-confrontational manager and his lazy charge.
The moral of this story is clear. Good managers appreciate, acknowledge and encourage those workers who have the company’s interest at heart. Managers receive a manager’s salary for a reason. The job is not always an easy one and sometimes you have to deal with unpleasant situations.
Wasn't it Voltaire who said ‘With great power comes great responsibility?’ I think he hit the nail right on the head.
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