I know, that sounds risky for them, but I'm sure they knew I'm not a vindictive person and that I could handle it, as long as it was the truth. And it was. As a manager, I've been called a bully, someone who doesn't suffer fools lightly, and other descriptive phrases that BNET would rather I didn't use.
Sure, I have a few good attributes too or I wouldn't have been an effective manager for 20 plus years. Nobody's perfect, and in any relationship, there's good and bad. As I've said before, management teams are a veritable Petri dish of conflict - it's a wonder how anything gets done at all. But things do get done. We somehow manage to work together in spite of our issues. For example:
Here's how I would describe three CEOs I worked for:
- Lurch. What can I say; he really looked like Lurch from The Adam's Family. More relevant to the discussion is that he was also an incredibly mean, nasty, abusive jerk, which Lurch wasn't.
- Narcissist with a huge but fragile ego and ADD who loved to hear himself talk.
- Control freak with a selective memory and a one-dimensional thought process that would limit his ability to scale and scale with the organization.
That raises some intriguing questions:
- Why is that? I mean, why do employees, even senior-level managers and executives, have such a hard time telling their bosses how they feel about them?
- Is everyone better off that way - not communicating the cold, hard truth and just trying to make the best of it? Or would both parties be better off "airing it out?"
- Of course, now that I shared, you have to reciprocate: how would you describe your boss or a boss from your past? And how have employees described you, either directly or indirectly?