I was talking about the importance of keeping your promises – if you say you’ll do something then you MUST do it – and one of the guys in the group – a Managing Director in fact, said:
“But Chris, in the real world it’s not like that. I know that if I ask my team for five things I’ll probably only get three. That’s reality”.
I replied “In that case you’re a crap boss” – (which upset him for some reason!).
But here’s why I think that:
either they are able to do the five things and they are just lazy, and he’s letting them away with it (unacceptable) or, more likely I think, they really can’t do the five things, it’s just too much work.
And he knows that, but still asks for it all. Why? Because he’s a bully probably, and he can then criticise them for failing.
And they say “Yes Boss” and then fail to deliver- why? Because they know he’s not really expecting all five, and besides, they only did three last time and got away with it. They know that he knows, he knows they know, and they know he knows they know. And yet nothing is said – it’s all dishonesty, and fear. They are too frightened to say No, it’s easier to say yes and then quietly fail.
But the result is that he doesn’t know which three he will get, he can’t control / choose which three he gets, (crazy!!), – and he never finds out WHY they can only do three of the five. Maybe there are problems with the system that make it impossible, but those problems never get discussed and fixed. He’s an idiot and a bully.
If only he allowed them to say “Boss we can only do three” he could say “OK, I’ll have THESE three please, …and by the way, why can’t you do all five for me?” and then he could learn some useful stuff and between them they could fix the system – or maybe he needs to get more people, …he can decide about that now he has all the information.
So rule number one, wherever you work, including at your place of work right now, should be
- “If you say you’ll do something you MUST do it!
- If you say yes and then discover later that you can’t do it you MUST immediately tell the person that you can’t do it after all”.
That’s all we ask.
onwards and upwards!