The team of an institute was a stressed lot. There could be many ordinary stressors on the job such as excessive work load, daily demands from parents and their counselling needs, behavior problems of the children and many such general reasons. But one of the main causes was the boss himself. He mismanaged his own time as well as that of his team. He was a well behaved guy with no tantrums or aggressive tendencies which is the most common complaint of employees in organizations. He was not a brute or a bull full of shit of his own ego. He was in fact a polite gentleman with humane values and treated people with respect. But the problem lay elsewhere. He was a great time consumer and often lost awareness of time which actually put his team under severe constraint. He held meetings daily with his staff to take a review as well as to plan ahead. A meeting that could last a few minutes or lets’ say half hour would be dragged on for an hour or more, the fellow not knowing where to stop. He would issue instructions about what needs to be done and undone but would keep his staff rushed up for time. As each minute was important in the institute, the staff would get restless. Many of them are shuffling their feet or furiously nodding their heads in agreement to indicate that they have understood what he wants to convey or are mocking a cough to show their impatience the guy rattles off. He actually keeps repeating his instructions which is redundant and actually of no use. He refuses to see their impatience nor read into their body language!
Another variation of time mismanagement is the style of the boss walking into the office when the shift is over and it’s time for people to leave. That is when he would pin them down and make them sit and listen to his banter instead of allowing them to go home to his family after a hard day’s work. Many bosses do this to extract that extra bit of the flesh of the hapless employees –the Shylock tendencies.
Another guy reported that his boss is actually a nice guy but loves to talk and talk big and throw his knowledge around. Juniors have no choice but to listen to him and smile in appreciation! They again may be constrained for time and may have assignments to complete and deadlines to meet but the guy loves listening to himself. Although it is an important function of leadership to educate and mentor their staff but not all are interested in the ‘gyan’ so to say. The experience of a boss is of immense value but first, one has to bring them to the classroom compulsorily and then make them listen. If it is done during work hours and this boss was most likely to get carried away at odd times to narrate his experiences that would become an uncomfortable and uncalled for monologue!
Here was this anxiety driven boss who could not handle his fears and emotions and generally had the habit of transferring it on to his juniors. He could not manage his insecurities about the company and would keep pestering his staff for the same. Many of them would just laugh behind his back watching his discomfiture while some of the intelligent ones would sympathize and get into his good books!
We know of the brute who comes to the office, puts up his feet on his table, call in the ‘listed’ ones, one by one, and abuse them to show them who is the boss there. This could be a daily dose by him or a weekly one and no one knew when his turn would come. Such feudal undemocratic brutes still very much exist in large numbers and are not an exception. Shouting and firing are their birthright and humiliating the employee satisfies his sense of sadism. He gets pleasure out of hitting and venting out his nasty and evil tendencies.
The leader is also an imperfect human being we agree but a greater onus lies on his head to lead in the best possible manner. He must keep on introspecting within to improve himself too before expecting others to be perfect. He must know himself and his faults and work on them seriously. He must evolve as a person and grow psychologically before he expects his people to grow. He must also innovate and take the company forward. After all he has to lead and show the way. The company can be as good or as bad as the leader. And hence the wisdom of the adage- “Heavy lies the head that wears the crown”.