Managers: You are the Weakest Link, Goodbye

A common issue in organizations is corporate politics where promotions occur not because of merit but due to connections. In other words, many times it is not how hard you work but who you know that determines advancement. However, there is an entirely different issue at hand.

People who excel at their job; thus, in their company’s view, earned the right to be promoted often do not know how to lead. Therefore, many managers do not contribute to the success or growth of their team.

It is rare, particularly in smaller companies, for managers to receive formal training in the art of leading a team, forecasting, and/or quality management. According to the article, without this knowledge managers tend to either overcompensate to prove their worth or over-delegate tasks. When managers overcompensate poor decisions are made as they tend to not take into account the thoughts of their team. Over-delegating of tasks leads to an enormous amount of pressure on the other team members while the manager is neither taking responsibility nor adding any value to the project.

Once a manager is in a position of power it can get inside their head, and they start to believe they deserve more power. It becomes less about how well they preform their job and more about their title. This attitude affects the whole organization and leads to resentment of the management team.

A couple of the biggest keys to success for an operations manager is to be a better decision maker than their subordinates and have the ability to entrust vital knowledge to other team members. Managers are valuable if they can preform the two keys above. However, in many organizations there are managers at all levels that cannot do either well.

Is it possible to spread all of a managers duties, responsibilities and knowledge across a whole team and still successfully complete projects? Without a “ring leader” communication determines success or failure. Some companies such as, Valve Software,, and Zappos have adopted a manager-less system that promotes creativity, unity, and flexibility. Benefits do exist, but the success rate of projects becomes less predictable.

Yet, in reality, managers are needed in many situations; it is difficult to argue with that. However, companies need the right people with the right attitude to fill those spots. It has to go beyond an individual being good at their job. Companies need to focus on a potential manager’s past experience and leadership skills in addition to providing them the tools to succeed. Alternatively, corporations may want to consider cutting some middle men to improve efficiency and rid the themselves of weak links.