Great leaders are necessary in life to teach, inspire, and lead. With the guidance of a great leader by our side we are able to advance at an accelerated pace by learning through their experiences. I have had my share of both great leaders and inferior leaders. One of the worst leaders that I have ever experienced had more than a few issues.
While I was in high school my friend and I decided to get a job for the summer. We applied at a local fast food restaurant and we were both hired. We started our training right away along with several other people this being a new restaurant. The manager was very nice and liked to have fun, which made this job actually enjoyable. Things were going good when we heard that the area manager was going to come to see how the new store was performing. The crew was introduced to John, Area Manager, who began coming on a daily basis. This is when the chaos began.
John started to watch over each of the employees and he started criticizing how people were doing their job. He would lean over the employee’s shoulder and ask them to perform while he watched. As he did, he would grunt or state, “What do you think your doing?” and he would grab their tools out of their hand and start doing the job. This would upset the employee and often make them cry. He didn’t do this with all of the employees though, he had his favorites. My friend and I were in the ‘liked’ category. He would make the assignments of where he wanted people to work and would say, “I want the pretty girls to work up front and the others to work in the back.” This kind of statement was not only destructive but I am sure it was illegal. John would smile and say nice things to my friend and I about our work. Later, after work he often asked us to go out or he would ask if we wanted to borrow his car to go out.
John decided on his second week that there was a girl that he did not want working there any longer. He would go and stand behind her and yell as she worked until she would cry. He continued to do this throughout the day until she finally turned around and said she quit. When she took off her smock and left, he walked through the place with a big smile and said, “Well, that took care of that!” It was horrifying, I felt awful for the poor girl.
John was the perfect example of what not to do as a manager. When he first came to the restaurant, he started micromanaging from the first day he arrived. “There is a narrow band of adequate supervision. On one side of the band is over-supervision (micro-management); and on the other side is under-supervision. Over-supervision stifles initiative, breeds resentment, and lowers morale and motivation. Under-supervision leads to miscommunication, lack of coordination, and the perception by subordinates that the leader does not care.” (Clark, Leading & Leadership, 2013) The employees that worked under John felt deflated every time he walked through the door. According to the article “Concepts of...