Small Business Trends Radio

How to Avoid Being a Clueless Manager

Wayne Hurlbert on How To Avoid Being a Clueless Manager.A manager may be far removed from the day to day activities – but the employee is working hands on. If you are a manager and are out of touch with what your employees are doing, posses unrealistic expectations, or simply don’t treat your employees with respect, they may conclude that you are “clueless.” Because it’s the employee who is on the front lines dealing with unhappy customers, difficult technology and problem solving. And these issues are far more prevalent in an office than one might immediately conclude.

Our featured guest in this episode of Small Business Trends Radio is Wayne Hurlbert, an online business commentator at BlogBusinessWorld. With a sense of humor and a tad of sarcasm, Wayne spells out the issues and occurrences that may make a manager look “clueless” in the office.

Are you a “clueless” manager?

  • Are you clueless with Employees? — Clueless managers exhibit poor hiring skills that may be based on appearance and a good conversation during the interview — not abilities. And, most likely, the staff will realize it before the manager does. To continue to be clueless upon hiring do you: 1.) Provide no training whatsoever and simply show your new employees their desks? 2.) Micro-manage them to death and correct their work standing over their shoulders? 3.) Show an inability to delegate responsibilities and feel you should have yourself cloned because no one can do it as well as you can?
  • Are you clueless with customers? — Clueless managers know what’s best for their customer. A clueless manager is a manager that TELLS the customer what they want – rather than LISTENING to what it is that they actually DO want. As a manager, do you: 1.) Shove products and services at customers? 2.) Alienate customers by providing no customer service and provide no training to the staff to do so either? 3.) Shift blame rather than acknowledging policies in place don’t apply and aren’t helpful.
  • Are you clueless regarding internal operations? — There are so many ways to mess up here -where to begin? Do you: 1.) Have no concept of expenses or cost of goods and forget obvious expenses? 2.) Fail to include expenses in calculations? 3.) Foolishly cut costs on customer service or elsewhere to save $.03 by doing so?
  • Clueless about the Internet? — A clueless manager believes that the Internet is a fad that will soon die and that there’s little to no value to it. Do you: 1.) Refuse to take advantage of all the opportunities it offers? 2.) Design a hard to navigate site, burying your products in it forcing visitors through 80 pages to buy something? 3.) Consider blogs and social networking sites useless teenage fads?

The above questions deliver a dose of sarcasm – but the stark reality is that the issues exist. Not only do they exist, they are prevalent. And good managers will recognize their own strengths and weaknesses. Clueless managers feel they have none. If you can answer “yes” to any of these questions, you can help your staff perform their jobs, create trust, and build relationships with them by listening to Wayne’s humorous approach to clueless management.

Need a reality check? Click the player below to listen to the full interview of Wayne Hurlbert, an online business commentator at BlogBusinessWorld.

5 Responses to “How to Avoid Being a Clueless Manager”

  1. EJMalyn Says:

    This was truly great lisenting. I can so relate to this because I have worked with so many clueless managers. Lisenting is the key word here, but many managers don’t feel that your input much matters. Management is the heart of any business, it can make or break it. Thank you Wayne, you sure hit it on the nose.

  2. Wayne Hurlbert Says:

    Thanks for the opportunity to be on your show and to talk about the cluelessness that is all around us. Perhaps, with some fresh insights and a modicum of luck, some of that clueless management will vanish into thin air permanently.

  3. Wayne Hurlbert Says:

    Thanks EJ. I appreciate your kind words.

  4. Amanda Says:

    I had first hand experience with a clueless manager. All of the things Wayne mentioned, my clueless manager did. I think the most important part of managing a staff is listening to their concerns. Very entertaining interview.

  5. Chris Says:

    I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen the issues mentioned in this interview take place in the office. And amazingly enough, all of the staff in the office saw it plain as day, but management did not – and an elitist attitude was adopted instead.

    It further distanced the manager from the employees and the day to day requirements of the office. Eventually, the office staff was so over run with responsibilities and spent so much time attempting to bridge the huge barriers that resulted between the daily tasks and managements changes – that within 4 weeks, half of the office staff up and quit. Even employees that had been there some 13 years.

    These issues can be disastrous for a small company especially.

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