Most employees are already Unhappy, so it doesn’t take much effort to nudge them into Insecurity, as well. Here’s a quick reminder of how easy it is to keep your ungrateful subordinates in their place: under your control.**
- Keep Them Guessing. Tell them nothing that’s not essential to their tiny little jobs. First, it’s none of their business. Second, they’re probably too stupid to understand important business concepts like you do.
- Watch Them Like a Hawk. Show them why they can’t be Trusted. Check their bags for smuggled company pens. When you spot phone numbers of friends or family on the call log, highlight those and send an invoice; as a convenience, offer to dock their pay rather than requiring a bank check.
- Isolation is Your Best Offense. When you see coworkers talking, tell them that sharing ANY company information is a terminable offense. Don’t communicate with other departments; if no one knows what you do, it will be easier to act hurt or outraged when your budget gets cut.
- Leverage Fear to Keep Your Calendar Clear. To minimize useless meetings, loudly slam things around when you’re in your office alone. If you don’t have walls, put on your headset and pretend you are screaming on conference calls. Avoid eye contact with underlings – it creates false hope that you are approachable.
- Remind Them Why You’re the Boss. When you know the answer to a problem, say it quickly so you can demonstrate how smart you are. If you don’t know the answer, sit back and let them solve it, then point out your excellent facilitation skills.
Remember, It’s ALL about the Title: Who needs to learn leadership skills when fear, intimidation, and the exercise of raw power can get the job done with less effort? Tell your people to get happy on their own time, not yours.
**P.S. Note from Jim: I did NOT have to make up any of this. Each of these bad behaviors came from stories shared by audience members. Hopefully none of them work for you!