The Rough Waters vs. Smooth Sailing of Managing People (and who cares?)

Earlier this week, I read a terrific blog post titled, The Most Powerful Management Trick, by Bradley J. Moore, and one quote stood out to me more than all the rest.

Everyone knows that people don’t leave bad jobs – they leave bad bosses. According to Stanford business professor Bob Sutton , author of Good Boss, Bad Boss, terrible bosses are the number one reason for turnover. So, imagine the implications when someone can’t leave their bad boss because of economic conditions, or a lack of job prospects: they remain miserable and unproductive.


I think too often we watch people leave positions for a variety of reasons which we feel are totally unrelated to their bosses.

People I know who have left paying jobs have done so because

Their skills don’t get used.
They’re bored.
They’re underpaid.
They don’t like their colleagues.
They don’t see any way to move up or be promoted.
They don’t feel appreciated.
No one ever notices their efforts (or gives them credit for what they accomplish).

In short, they don’t feel “cared” about…

While some of these reasons are valid for leaving a job, who’s to blame?

Is it the employee who is expecting the “perfect” position in the “perfect” environment? (And we all know perfect doesn’t exist.)

Or is it the boss’s responsibility to ensure he creates a workplace setting that allows all of the above (in the positive) to occur?

Moore continues

When a special-ops Google team known as Project Oxygen surveyed employees to find out what they wanted most from their managers, technical expertise ranked dead last. What employees valued most, they found, were even-keeled bosses who made time for people, who helped solve problems without dictating answers, and who took an interest in employees’ lives and careers.

In other words, people just wanted to know that their manager cared about them.

Now we know, everyone cares about being cared about (it is the most powerful management tool).


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