Old School vs. New School Managers
I was speaking with a colleague the other day when the topic of “old” versus “new” school management surfaced. We shared our experiences and came to the (unscientific) conclusion that, although the leadership ranks are evolving, there is still a reasonable percentage of old school managers scatter throughout (almost) all organizations.
What do I mean by old school? Good question. From my experiences, it is the manager that expects his or her employees to adapt to their style of management (you’ll notice I did not say leadership). They expect others to show them respect (although it may not be returned) because of the position they hold, and not because it is earned. The working environment they create has a distinctive command and control flavor which keeps people on the edge, but not in a healthy way. Working with many different organizations, you would think I would not be surprised when I come across a manger, vice president, or president who refuses to accept the realities of today’s diverse workforce. But no … every time, I am stunned for just a moment until I remember that many managers don’t (or won’t) adapt to the people around them.
It was just a few weeks ago, I was in a coaching session with an individual when his manager’s manager (VP) stopped by to make a request. On the surface, it did not appear to be terribly urgent based on how they interacted but it was something about the VPs tone and body language that said “I’m the boss, drop what your doing, I need this done now”. The word “condescending” came to mind at the time.