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Don’t be difficult to manage September 25, 2007

Posted by Darth Sidious in Career Management.

Your relationship with your Sith Lord/Manager is a major part of your strategy to advance your career. Many people once they become comfortable in position begin losing site of this as the company becomes dependent on them.

A classic SPOK (Single Point of Knowledge) situation – they feel invulnerable or shielded as a result of the company’s dependency on them.

Always think about your Sith Lord/Manager’s perspective. His/Her mission is to help the team and company or Galactic Empire succeed. They get results through their people.

So from their perspective there are 2 types of staff they have; those that are helping them achieve their mission, and those that are getting in the way. Which side are you on?

Some people, especially technical folk, love to “fight the man”. They love to stir up dissent, controversy, and point out fires. They feel joy in making things difficult for management by trying to “teach them a lesson” for being so bureaucratic.

Those people, or you, may even feel that you’re fighting for justice, or the lone warrior in the battle against insanity. So you may even be well intentioned; but the reality of business is that you can’t make everyone happy. You have limited resources in order to accomplish the mission which requires balancing those resources in the best way possible, which may not be something you agree with.

But to fight it, who are you helping? No one, not even yourself.

The biggest mistake you can do as an employee is earn the reputation as being difficult to manage. Once you get into that territory you may still be valuable to the organization, but you’ll find yourself without anyone supporting you or watching your back.

Once tagged as difficult to manage your options to transfer to different departments become limited as other managers will not want you. And you can guarantee that your Manager is actively working on phasing you out.

As well, it’s almost impossible to undo that reputation, as once bitten twice shy… Management will never forget the trouble you caused.

Manager’s not only want, but NEED staff that are on their side. There’s no time to be fighting and convincing everyone under them of the direction they want to go.

Now I’m not suggesting being a mindless drone. Definitely be an advisor, provide your Manager or Sith Lord with actionable information that helps form a solid decision, and present objective cases as to why the decision being presented may not be the right one.

Once the decision has been made, that is the direction that the team/department/company is going to go with. Your choices are to help in the success of that decision or stand in the way.

Remember one thing, you were hired to support your Manager. Be his/her right hand man.
Darth Sidious



1. Surviving a Merger or Acquisition « Sith Sigma - October 2, 2007

[…] to the post on not being difficult to manage, providing exceptional value to the acquiring company will ensure your continued tenure. Employees […]

2. aqua - May 3, 2008

Hi, I found this extremely helpful.
I was in a pretty diffucult situation and wondered whether you could help. I did everythign my manager wanted, but the expectations just kept getting higher and higher. I was recruited alongside another employee, and we both were appointed for teh same job. We became very very competitive and hardly spoke to one another. My manager took advantage of this and then decided to keep the other employee and constuctively dismiss me. This has had a very negative effect on me and I just wondered whether you could help me make sense of it all. I can relate to some part of your writing in that I did become a bit like the lone warrior at one stage. Problem was that I didnt really find any support anywhere and now think that I have to start at zero.

3. canon - May 3, 2008

I ahd an experience with a manager who used to make it diffcult for me to do my job. how would you cope with this and deal with this. She used to never let me do the things that I was supposed to do and when I did them would do nothing but complain about the way I did them. I began to be in a lose lose situation when if I didn’t do the job, she would complain about why I wasnt doing it. When I did do the job then she would complain and shout at me about the way I did it. At the same time, she doesn’t want to lose me as an employee. I can relate to some of what has already been said, but I think that my situation is far worse. My manager sidelines me on purpose and then complains to others about my so called incompetence.

4. HP MORGAN - June 19, 2008

I took a personality test for my present job over 6 months ago and just received a print out from my manger showing ‘how to mentor/coach’ the person who took the test, which is ‘me’. On there it shows I am difficult to manage if the person managing is authorative of dictative in style. That it is perferrable by me to have a manager ‘ask’ me what progress I’m making or ‘ask’ how they can help me. NOT ‘tell’ me how things are going to be done or ‘tell’ me how things are to progress.

How interesting is that? After all these years, what should be a ‘common courtesy’ to ‘ask’ and not ‘tell’ a person, unless it’s life or death, I finally know my personality. I’m intimidating to person’s who feel unsure due to my exhuberance and confidence. So what is a person to do with a personality like this? Do you try to ‘tone it down’, be more humble? Act subservient to all you come accross? such a catch 22!

5. Darth Sidious - June 20, 2008

@Morgan: interesting… but it’s pretty simple though. Do you support your manager? Are you constantly challenging him, just because you have an opinion on every single matter? There’s a big difference between being collaborative vs. confrontational. Are you causing him to have to put in massive amounts of effort to get you on board with something, or to plan many moves ahead to curtail emotional blow ups?

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