That’s Just The Way I Am | No BS Management Advice

That’s Just The Way I Am | No BS Management Advice

By Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter
Whether you are a new manager or a senior manager, you are shooting yourself in the foot if these words ever come out of your mouth.

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I want to talk to those of you who are managers, new managers, old managers, and a bad habit that some of you have. And let’s just put it into context, okay?

You’re in a situation where something isn’t working out, right? You made a call; you took an action; it wasn’t right. And your way of responding to it is by saying, “You know, that’s just the way I am and how I do things.”

And what’s the message that you’re sending to your team or to executive leadership? And, you know, I’ll tell you what the message is. The message is, “I really don’t care.” I screwed up. I won’t take ownership of it. I won’t own up to my mistake. And I don’t really care.

Now, the message to senior leadership is, “this guy’s a problem.” That’s the way they see it. For your team. It’s, “Okay. This guy made a mistake, and he’s going to call us on our mistakes and he’s going to try and pinpoint us and that’s just the way he is. I’ll practice saying that for myself to folks.”

When you’re in leadership, or you’re actually . . .  when you’re in management (leadership knows better) when you’re in management and you say stuff like this, why don’t you just put a bullet in your foot, because you’ve caused yourself more headaches than you can imagine. Headaches in your relationship with the people you interact with at all levels.

I just want to say to you, if you’re ever confronted in a situation like that, just very simply say, I need to think about this right now. My initial gut instinct I know is not right. And give me a couple of minutes, I’d like to think about this and circle back to you.”

That is the ideal message to send to people, whether it’s the team because they see that you’re struggling with something but you want to work it through and it sends a message to them that you will own up to your mistakes. To leadership, it basically says, “Just give me a little bit of breathing time to sort through what happened here. I’m not prepared to talk about it. I need a little bit of time, and I’ll circle back.” That doesn’t put you in behind the eight ball. That doesn’t put you in a situation where you’re going to wind up causing yourself headaches.

Look, you made a decision. It didn’t turn out right. Own up to it but how you do it is important. Being able to do a post-mortem of the events that occurred– why you made the choices that you made, and understand why they didn’t work out– is part of what management and eventually leadership is all about. Because we all make mistakes, right?

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People hire Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter to provide No BS Career Advice globally because he makes many things in peoples’ careersJeff Altman easier. Those things can involve job search, hiring more effectively, managing and leading better, career transition, as well as advice about resolving workplace issues. 

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