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My mindset
I'm elitist. I mean that I hold quite high standards when judging things and people.

An Uber ride on time, or an Amazon product that does what it says on the tin? That's worth 3 stars.1 4 is when I'm pleasantly surprised. 5 is only for the very rare cases it goes above and beyond my expectations.

I consider “under par” as simply not good enough. I'd say that I start to properly value people2 when they perform more than one standard deviation above average.

That sounds cocky, I know — it probably is. But don't get me wrong, I hold the same standards for me too and even if I don't think my track record is too bad, I know I fall short to be good in many categories.

The issue
I am aware that my mindset can be detrimental to my co-workers.

I don't think I'm a particularly bad team lead, though: on a daily basis, I think I'm warm and friendly, not stingy with compliments3, I use non-violent communication, respect everyone as a person, and I believe that I'm affable, always ready to give a hand and help people to grow.

But on a daily basis, I'm afraid I don't particularly value their contribution enough: if they do what they've been assigned to do, it's not positive nor negative — to me, it's just the bare minimum I expect from them. This can lead me to be internally a bit snobbish about them, if they don't go beyond my expectations (even if their work is ok).4 Yet, because I don't want to be too harsh, I tend to not say anything too negative and be externally accommodating — especially as I've only been granted management responsibilities recently and are still figuring out my way around it.

Even if I don't verbalize it, it would yet be absurd for me to consider it cannot be perceived at all.

So while I believe that being demanding is not a bad thing per se, I am aware that my behaviour can be detrimental to my co-workers.

Question
My question are then:

  • how to prevent my current mindset to be detrimental to my team members? (And co-workers in general?)
  • how to better value their contribution and have a higher opinion of them?

1. As pointed out in the comments, this is how I feel, not how I behave. It's also a bit exaggerated for the sake of clarity: Of course, I “play by the rule” and rate them 5 stars if there is nothing wrong with the ride — especially as I am aware it's critical for drivers and I have no intention to cause them harm. It's just that have always considered/been told (mostly due to the education system I grew in) that average/just-good-enough/pass work should be graded 50%.
2. This is also strong worded here: I don't mean “value people” as a person (I'm convinced everyone deserve respect no matter what), but mean “the work they produce”. I am also aware that: a/ this approach is problematic as, by definition, not everyone can perform above par; b/ all people have strengths and weaknesses, so not being exceptional at one thing doesn't diminishes your value as a human being; c/ because of environment, the same effort might not yield the same result in different people.
3. The issue might be that I can compliment an effort, while thinking their work is not up to (my) standard.
4. Examples of things I find personally difficult: listing their strength on an annual report; being satisfied by their work if they don't do as much as I would personally do working full steam over the same period (even if I'm aware that: a/ they're more junior than I am, so cannot be expected to produce as much, b/ working full-steam is not sustainable, one also need down time, c/ I regularly fall short of my own expectations myself.).
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  • 1
    Comments are not for extended discussion; this conversation has been moved to chat.
    – Neo
    Nov 19 '20 at 12:43
  • How do you rate your social skills? How does others rate your social skills? Nov 23 '20 at 13:16

15 Answers 15

78

I once lead a team of misfits up from being a disaster to sub-par, to effective and had to fight this attitude the entire time.

When I took over this group, our goal was $2000 per week in specific sales within a department. It had been consistently been around 500.

The team was demoralized and was just coming into get a paycheck. I had more than tripled the output, and was congratulating the team who were actually happy and excited, when a higher up said:

Why are you celebrating, you should celebrate when you hit 2000

or something equally dismissive.

Two ended up quitting, and one got fired after that because he just didn't care any more.

That's what your attitude can do to a team.

What to do instead

  • Celebrate every victory. If someone is improving, celebrate it even if it's not up to your standards, they're advancing. It motivates them.
  • Have a series of milestones and goals towards where you want them to perform. Acknowledge each one.
  • Tell them you appreciate their improvement, and encourage them to reach the goals.
  • Join in the celebration, share in their small victories.
  • Push them to do more. Have stretch goals.

For everyone to win here, you need to be engaged with them, and they you.

Let your people know what your standards are. If you need 30 widgets, have the weekly goals posted.

REQUIRED - 30 widgets.

Stretch goal-A 45 widgets

Stretch goal-B 60 widgets

Make a BIG DEAL of congratulating them when they hit the stretch goals, feel proud of them, and let them know you're proud of them.

Do small things like bringing in coffee and donuts when they hit their stretch goals, then slowly start to raise the bar to new minimum and stretch goals, but keep celebrating. Tell your people, "I know you can do this!" and mean it.

Try to have fun. Watch the Fish video

When they succeed, you succeed. Put your energy in, and make it fun.

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  • 1
    Comments are not for extended discussion; this conversation has been moved to chat.
    – Neo
    Nov 20 '20 at 12:47
61

If you're only communicating expectations to your team such that meeting them leaves you unsatisfied (but the work "done") then you aren't a good team leader - you're doing the bare minimum. I'd give you 3 stars.

So while I believe that being demanding is not a bad thing per se, I am aware that my behaviour can be detrimental to my co-workers.

You're right - being demanding isn't necessarily a bad thing. If done well you can really achieve excellent results all round, but you need to make sure you're communicating that, and you need to show that them doing what you asked them to do is still valued and worthwhile, because ultimately it is. And yes, people do get paid to do what you're asking them to do, but people aren't machines or products on amazon. And while I'm not saying you need to be effusive with praise every time they do something sometimes people need the occasional "atta boy!" to maintain their motivation and productivity. Indeed a sense of being appreciated can actually lead to an increase in effort, much as the sense of being unappreciated frequently has the reverse effect.

And that's your job to do, even if you don't feel it 100% in your heart of hearts - because this isn't about you and your internal feelings, it's about extracting the maximum from your team. Some of that might involve setting higher expectations from the get go - some might be about clearly communicating ways they can stretch their performance.

If you can balance the sense of expectations well and keep motivation high or improving then you might be able to get yourself up to a 4 or 5 star team leader.

1
  • I regret that I have one upvote to give.
    – Unfair-Ban
    Nov 19 '20 at 0:37
18

I think the issue here is that you have a problem with people being average. A dislike of average people is in my opinion a more general and growing problem in society today. By definition most people are about average. It is even the case that some people can only be exceptional because most people are average. If everyone was exceptional no-one would be, we would all be average.

I think you should internalize this fact and be grateful to the average people in your team that they are giving you the chance to shine and be exceptional.

5
  • Thank you for your answer. Phrasing the issue this way is accurate and helps me better understand the issue. Of course, I understand that it's impossible for everyone to be above par (!). I also believe that there will always be some aspects where one is good, and some others where one isn't. My question is then: “how to better find value in average output/people?”.
    – user457734
    Nov 18 '20 at 15:07
  • 6
    @user457734 "how to better find value in average output/people" try this: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Perfect_is_the_enemy_of_good Nov 18 '20 at 15:18
  • 2
    Also, from the company's point of view, you want "average" people. Replacing smart people is hard, because they tend to be specialized. I just took over a project that five "smart people" worked on over the years, it is an unmaintainable mess because everyone sought to leave their mark on it. Nov 19 '20 at 9:09
  • @user457734 what's wrong with average? Imagine the exceptional performance you desire. Then imagine everyone performs that well. That's excellent, right? Isn't that what you want? But, uh oh, now they're all average again. If everyone does excellent work, how does that devalue it? Their work is valuable because it's useful for something (aka has value). The amount of work someone else can do has no relevance to the amount of value they are creating.
    – Kat
    Nov 21 '20 at 5:24
  • By OP's definition 96% of people are average (within 2 standard deviations), only 2% are above average and 2% below.
    – stannius
    Nov 24 '20 at 19:10
6

I myself am a perfectionist when it comes to my work and very few people can produce work I find to be of acceptable quality. - What I try to do is, try and understand people a bit more and have some empathy.

how to better value their contribution and have a higher opinion of them?

Realise others have different priorities. Maybe they're having a hard time in life, or maybe they have a family to look after, and their focus is on them, not work. - If you were them, where would your focus be?

For most people, work is just a way to make money so we can live better lives, but often we forget that and work becomes our life.

how to prevent my current mindset to be detrimental to my team members? (And co-workers in general?)

Be more positive and appreciate the effort they have put in. It may not be perfect or how you would've done it, but they did it, so give them a "good job" every once in a while. After all, maybe their work is outstanding considering issues in their personal life. - Being positive will help motivate them to produce better work and will create a more positive environment overall.

Also I think it's important you don't forget, this is your problem. Not a problem with your colleagues work.

As long as their work is done to an acceptable standard (as considered by the boss, not you) then the last thing you want to do is try and change or control your colleagues into producing work that you'd personally accept, as that's probably not achievable.

6

I'd like to suggest something simple and uncontroversial you can do, that I'm surprised no-one has mentioned yet:

Thank them.

Thank your team for their efforts.  Show that you appreciate what they've done.

You don't need to exaggerate the quality of work or whether it meets your high standards; you don't even need to mention it at all.  Just a simple “Thank you” can be sufficient motivation.

You may be doing this already, of course; in fact, I hope you are!  But I think it's worth spelling out.

5

how to prevent my current mindset to be detrimental to my team members? (And co-workers in general?)

Keep your real opinion to yourself. Give voice only to those that will have a positive impact or achieve a goal. This is a valuable skill in itself, both at work and life in general.

how to better value their contribution and have a higher opinion of them?

Formulate realistic and achievable value scales and expectations based on ability and known factors like history etc,. rather than arbitrary ones you pull out of your hat.

This is a key skill to have as well in any leadership position.

1
  • He is (wisely) recognizing that keeping his opinion to himself is not a viable option: He'd have to lie constantly, and people would smell that out anyway.
    – toolforger
    Nov 19 '20 at 11:26
5

Your definition of elitism is substandard. An elite English language user would probably call what you describe "being overly critical" or "failure to give appropriate credit". This is a form of meanness.

If you aspire to be elite, then bring your ability to give accurate feedback up to elite levels and that should fix things for you.

Also, if you aspire to be elite then work on bringing your language skills that up to elite levels too. That would involve correctly discriminating meanings of elitism versus giving mean feedback, which would in turn improve your understanding of what's really going on here.

On a practical level, a technique for giving more positive feedback is to always say two positive things for every one negative. Telling you what that's called is off policy for this site, but it's a something sandwich. But it works as a way of betting people to be agreeable to negative feedback. I should probably take my own advice in that regard.

4

When you arrive at your destination, do you thank the Uber driver who you'd rate 3 stars? I'm not asking if you're internally feeling grateful or not, I'm asking if you utter the word "thanks" or "thank you" at any point.

Why would you? He's getting paid, right? Why bother doing anything more than giving him the wage that he clearly agreed to (else he wouldn't be working this job). Why even bother speaking to them at all when you arrive at your destination - the transaction is complete.

Does the above come across as a bit grating to you? It should. Thanking someone who performs a service for you, regardless of whether they're financially rewarded for it or not, is common courtesy. Unsurprisingly, people tend to like those who behave courteously.

You catch more flies with honey than vinegar. I suspect you already know this. But your question, or at least the adamant philosophy underlining it, essentially boils down do "why am I not catching flies? I'm making sure to not use vinegar!"

It's because you're not using honey either. You've just got an empty plate. Sure, that's better than any plate with vinegar on it, but it's nowhere as good as a plate with any modicum of honey on it.

As a manager, you're supposed to be a fly catcher and keeper. Your job is to have the flies around you and keep them happy, because the flies in turn do the work that your employer needs done.
Instead of talking about you judging your employees, how should your employer judge you, the fly catcher who rarely uses any honey, significantly less than he could use it? The only positive you have is that you're not using vinegar, which isn't even a positive, it's just a non-negative.

"You didn't do something wrong" is not the same as "You did something good". It can also mean "You did nothing at all". This last one is where you are at.

In fact, it is you who is the worker whose output is the bare minimum of what is expected. Do you seriously expect to be a good manager by only avoiding negative feedback, but still eschewing giving positive feedback?
It's exceedingly contradictory for a self-proclaimed "elitist" who aims for dead average in their own achievement, even by their own standards.

Also, what you describe is not what "elitist" means. An elitist seeks out small subgroups that can self-reinforce perceived superiority. If you were to attend a weekly manager meeting and specifically keep out the non-managers because they're not welcome there, that would be elitism. What you're describing is someone with high standards and who is stingy with kindness, adamantly so.

how to prevent my current mindset to be detrimental to my team members?

This question really irks me, because it hints at how you're not going to get yourself out of this problematic situation any time soon. You're implying that you want to keep your mindset, even after you yourself have discussed how it's negatively impacting your career.

Your question is the reality-avoiding phrasing used for wanting to improve your situation by overcoming a problem of your own making, without improving yourself and the problem you yourself are creating.

Your question boils down do "how do I stop the problems from this problematic behavior, without stopping the problematic behavior in and of itself?". I hope you can see the obvious answer to that. Stop engaging in the problematic behavior.

how to better value their contribution and have a higher opinion of them?

This is the same "I'm think I'm right but how do I keep being right" reality-avoiding reasoning as before.

The way you phrase your question reveals that you think of valuing something as an active effort, rather than an innate mindset on being grateful to receive the fruits of someone's labor - regardless of whether your thanks are the only reward for it or not (i.e. wages).

It does disprove your first question's assertion. Your opinion of them is caused by your mindset, even you agree on that point. This question even implies that an opinion is calculated from your perception, and you've spent half your question on justifying how your perception stems from your mindset.

You want to have a different opinion of them? Then you have to change your mindset.


The reasoning that got you to asking the first question (specifically about keeping your mindset as is) is the problem that got you there in the first place. The notion of being unwilling to change yourself to fix a problem that you created, is not the solution. And when you stick to that notion while trying to make it work, you're never going to solve the problem at hand.

Learn to appreciate others and be kind as a baseline for how you treat people. Not as some sort of "reward" for going above and beyond. Kindness should be your default behavior.

Just because you thank someone doesn't mean you have to drop to your knees in gratitude. A simple thanks goes a long way, as it acknowledges the work someone put in.

To give you a great example: my wife tried to do a nice thing for me by preparing the food before cooking. The only problem is that the prepared the food wrongly. She diced the onions instead of slicing them, and she crushed the garlic instead of grating it.
I still thanked her, because she still put in the effort. She did not intend to do it wrongly, so there was no point in giving her negative feedback about it or treating her negatively.

While this example is not a complete summary on how you should respond to employees, it does serve as a way to show that the quality of the result is not the only thing that defines whether you should be grateful or kind towards someone.

3

how to prevent my current mindset to be detrimental to my team members?

There isn't much to answer other than a frame challenge. You shouldn't be trying to figure out how to keep your mindset from being detrimental, you should be figuring out how to adjust your mindset. You seem to think that there is some objective "right" standard, and everyone else is just "doing it wrong".

You've been told that the proper response to a good Uber ride is five stars, but you have this other standard that an average ride "should" be three stars. Where does this come from? You cite school. But first of all, 50% isn't "average" in school. And second, why are you letting school standards dictate how you think Uber should be run? When you buy frozen yogurt, are you annoyed that their "large" is smaller than the "small" when ordering soda at a fast food restaurant? When you buy shoes, do you insist on giving your shoe size as the length of your feet in inches? If someone tells you that SOS in Morse code is --- ... ---, do you respond that the "correct" encoding of SOS is the ACII representation?

When you were in school, your school had a system where each letter communicated a particular level. Uber has a different system that has a different correspondence. "C" is the correct symbol in the school system to communicate that someone is below average, and "★★★★" is the correct symbol in the Uber system to communicate that someone is below average. The correct symbol is determined by the system you're working in. There is no objective correct symbol.

Imagine you join a bridge club, and they have a standard bidding system. But the person who first taught you bridge had a different bidding system. Are you going to insist on using your bidding system, and deride the rest of the players as "not having proper standards"?

Communication is when one person causes another person's model of the world to become more accurate. If most supervisors praise the people they manage when they do average work, and you don't, then the people you manage will believe that they are doing below average work, which means that you are not communicating.

Examples of things I find personally difficult: listing their strength on an annual report;

You should write whatever is most likely to cause your superiors to arrive at accurate beliefs regarding the people you supervise. Whether they "meet your standards" isn't the issue, what matters is what your report communicates. You say that you hold yourself to high standards, but you are allowing your personal issues to stand in the way of advancing your employer's interests.

being satisfied by their work if they don't do as much as I would personally do working full steam over the same period

Are they being paid as much as you? There's nothing wrong with hiring someone for 80% of the pay to do 80% of the work. Thinking otherwise is quite irrational.

I consider “under par” as simply not good enough

What does "not good enough" mean? How does a world in which something is good enough differ from one in which it is not? It seems like the main difference is that with the latter, you are unhappy. If that's the case, then you've created a situation where you're forcing yourself to be unhappy most of the time. Does this extend to everything? If you eat omelet that isn't at least one standard deviation above omelets in general, are you unhappy? Frankly, I suggest you consider seeing a therapist. I don't say that to mean, I truly think that your mindset is not conducive to emotional health.

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  • 4
    "50% isn't average in schools" could just be a US thing. In some European countries, it's possible for the best grade out of an entire class to be 11 out of 20. So it's possible for you to get the best grade out of everyone else, but to still be made to feel like shit because you didn't get a better grade. Nov 19 '20 at 4:46
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I used to be extremely hardworking and work focused. I used to be like this. Working 60 hour weeks, extremely high standards, extremely on the ball. I'm a senior engineer with 15 years of experience in an extremely specialised field. Intelligence was super important, and the people I respected were people who were intelligent and educated.

And then I fell pregnant and had a kid, and my brain felt like it became a sieve over night. I was forgetful, I couldn't hold on to a thought, I had to write things down all the time, I literally became 'average'. I went from working 60 hours a week to working 20. What value did I have if I didn't work hard and wasn't intelligent? My work productivity crashed and burned. I grieved the loss of what value I thought I had. And I was convinced I would get fired over it.... and I didn't. In fact, the team I was on hardly mentioned it. They were fine with it because they realised that this is how life goes. People are at different stages. And I personally realised I had been wrong all the time.

I realised that work wasn't everything. Intelligence doesn't define what makes a human being valuable. I had a paradigm shift where I realised that what I chose to value was an incredibly narrow and small slice of what actually makes human beings valuable. Intelligence is one small slice of a very big pie. I was humbled and became a lot less selfish. Now I work 15 hours a week and spend the rest of my time doing menial tasks like looking after my daughter and family. Does that make me less valuable?! No, of course not.

But if you'd tell me 10 years ago that this would be my fate, I would have been incredibly disappointed in myself. But before you go through this transition yourself personally, it will be very difficult to relate to people on your team. Because what they value and what you value do not line up. And they will never be good enough because their priorities are not the same as yours. So just remember, your team of people are at all different stages, with all different mental capacities, and all different levels of motivation. This doesn't make them inferior or inadequate, this are just who they are.

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Striving for perfection does not require punishing everyone who falls short.

If goals are expectations, they must be achievable lest people receive continuous negative feedback they can not avoid, which will cause them to disengage and leave this toxic workplace as soon as they can.

You can however set high goals if goals are something to work towards, and your only expectation is people making reasonable progress towards that goal.

That is, the key to achieve high goals is realizing that your team is not there yet, and will need time to make the journey. And as you guide then along the road to excellence, you can celebrate each milestone passed, thus motivating your team to continue the journey.

2

I mean that I hold quite high standards when judging things and people.

It might be helpful to frame it this way: "judging people" probably isn't the job that you were hired to do, and focussing on it is likely to interfere with your ability to do the job you were hired to do.

With growing responsibility, sometimes there are times when you need to pass judgement on on co-workers - who to hire, who to promote, etc. etc. But even in management, it's not the whole of the job, and probably only a small part of it except for some specialised roles.

Let's say your team is making widgets. You can make 100 widgets a week; Bob makes 95 widgets a week; Alice only makes 80. By that metric, Alice is the worst employee in the team... but so what? Mentally putting a "worst employee" label on her doesn't improve the team performance one iota. Unless Alice's performance is so bad that the company would be better off firing her, paying severance, losing her contribution, spending time and money to recruit a replacement, and training them up, it just isn't a useful thing to be passing judgement on her worth.

When you rate an Amazon product or an Uber driver, you're helping other people make informed choices. When you mentally judge a co-worker as good or bad... not only is it not useful, but by spending time and energy on something that does your team absolutely no good... you are performing below your own potential.

If you can help Alice improve from 80 to 81 widgets a week, you'll be doing your team more good than any amount of judgement passed on her.

1

Speaking as someone with unreasonably high standards myself, this is really just something you need to keep in mind in every interaction with others.

Be quicker to give praise and be slower to criticise. How to properly give praise and criticism can be topics all by themselves, so I won't expand on that too much.

You can think of it as needing to "shift" your expectations (to which extent you'll need to figure out yourself), so if someone just does what they're been asked to do, you should consider this to be above average.

(Actually it's pretty common for good employees to miss deadlines and there are plenty of incompetent ones out there too, so shifting your expectations may actually make it correspond more closely to the world as a whole.)

When someone does something you'd normally consider "good", for example, treat it as if it's "excellent" instead.

Shifting your mindset so you actually believe something is better than you believed it was before might be ideal, but this could be a lot harder. Although treating it as such might be the best way to start believing this.

This can be especially relevant in performance reviews, where, for example, some companies paradoxically expect employees to "exceed expectations", so "meets expectations" is actually not meeting expectations.


This is not to say you should be insincere (which can be pretty easy to spot). But rather you should look for sincere reasons to praise things that might not seem extraordinary to you, use more positive language in general ("great", "excellent", "amazing", etc.), think twice about criticising something that's "good enough" and try to balance out criticism with praise, among other things.

1

Holding high standards isn't necessarily bad, but proper evaluations are more important.

I, personally, often looks "negatively" when judging. I start with a full mark and deduct it when I found something questionable or (negatively) unexpected. If there's nothing questionable, I end my assessment with the (initial) full mark. This way I don't (subjectively) give low points for "just completing the jobs".

Still, I rarely give non-full stars to Uber drivers or goods deliveries. All I anticipated and required from those services was to deliver me or my goods on time and in good conditions. I never expect an Uber driver to make my trip more interesting by talking to me about Spring Framework, or going unnecessary far routes for the "scenery". Similarly, it's unfair to expect an Amazon product to do extra job than stated on its tin. After all, you don't expect your new 1 GB USB flash drive to carry a 4K Blu-ray movie, do you?

If someone completes 100% of their designated work, at 100% standard they've been told, then they deserve a 100% for their review. Extra work deserves extra rewards. If they do 200% of their job, then it's your turn to give a 200% review for their performance.

Again, I appreciate it when someone has a similar taste of perfection as me, but when it comes to evaluation, be fair and transparent.

2
  • Thanks! (Of course, one would be foolish to expect a 1GB flash drive to hold my entire film collection — the example might not be the best indeed.) My struggle is, when starting from full mark and looking at reasons to remove points (I'm unfortunately quite good at this), I have a hard time to see the positive in it. I.e. the most difficult part for me in annual review is filling the “strength” part of the report — as I struggle noticing skills that are “only on-par” or slightly above… even if they're actual strength. I tend to only notice extra-ordinary ones… which is obviously rare.
    – user457734
    Nov 19 '20 at 13:12
  • 1
    @user457734 By that I meant "try not to take 'on-par' as negative". Or think the other way round, being up to the task is exactly why one is on the task - they're up for it. As a last resort, try comparing someone whose strengths you want to find against someone else performing badly - a comparison will easily display one's advantages.
    – iBug
    Nov 19 '20 at 13:25
-6

IMO the solution is fortunately trivial,

"It's not high-school"

  • Say nothing, ever, about any person

  • Say nothing, ever, about "issues" - only specifics

  • At work, in toto, deal "robot-like" in absolutely unemotional terms with work specifics only and direct statements only.

Example YES:

"The xyz field in this database becomes negative when blah. Please delete that field and add blah here and add blah there."

Example NO:

"This structure appears weak, we've struggled with this. Which team member has the best strengths in this area? Could the solution involve blah technology approach? How's your dog?"

Work to make money. When the bell rings go home. Cash all paycheques.

That's the whole thing.

Be absolutely specific at all times. Never mention any person, at all, ever.

Whether or not you are "a perfectionist" is not relevant: It doesn't matter if one is a "perfectionist" style lead, an "intuitive" style lead, a "delegator" style lead, a "get it done" style lead, or a "corporate" style lead...

...if you adopt the three magic items of the "It's not high-school"™ approach, you'll achieve workplace Nirvana for the others, and for yourself!

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  • 7
    This ignores the fact that most humans don't get any motivation from working for a robot. I would suggest that this will quickly produce a "smooth" workplace with no management problems except that there are no employees and no output. Of course I know some managers who would consider having no staff to be Nirvana.
    – alephzero
    Nov 19 '20 at 2:50
  • 3
    Your bullet points can't help but make me think Michael Scott wrote them. Further reinforced by your notions that (a) staff should idolize their manager and (b) managers should strive to be idolized. The core advice also doesn't make sense: why would people love someone who shows no care for them? Oh...
    – Flater
    Nov 19 '20 at 12:40
  • I don't understand the reference. ("idolize," like "Nirvana", is mentioned in passing and has nothing to do with anything.) Regarding your final sentence, the entire "repeated ten times" point here is that work is work. Folks who work for you want five things. (1) get paid and go home to their family. (2) get paid and go home to their family. (3) get paid and go home to their family. (4) get paid and go home to their family. (5) get paid and go home to their family. Nobody wants "friends bosses".
    – Fattie
    Nov 19 '20 at 14:13
  • 3
    The book Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us by Daniel Pinker would strongly disagree with those five things Nov 19 '20 at 18:39
  • I'm familiar w/ that title, @mattfreake . I'm afraid, that as the site's Worker's Rights Advocate™, I just see the book as a running dog for management. It boils down to a pseudo-sophisticated (actually the author's angle is "surprising!", all his books have "surprising!" end points) ... a pseudo-sophisticated assertion that ... wait for it ... you'll never guess ... you don't have to pay employees much. OK.
    – Fattie
    Nov 20 '20 at 12:23

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