The Easiest Way To Screw Up Managing Part 2

Last week, I scolded you for crossing organizational lines, without even knowing if you did such a thing! How’s that for fairness, eh? Well, you may not have deserved it, but many people do it without realizing, so I took some “accountability license” if you will.

It happens innocently enough. You’re in the break room and overhear two employees talking, and you just jump in and start brainstorming with them. It’s fun, and they seem to get a ton of energy out of it. And maybe that’s true.

What also could be true is that the CEO talked to them on their break and they summoned all the energy they could in order to impress you because they’re afraid of losing their job.

“But I helped them!” you protest.

You actually have no idea. All you know is that they didn’t say, “I really appreciate your input, but it’s probably better if you bring that to my manager first, even though you’re the VP/CEO/owner.”

Do you know how many employees will say this?

Unless the leader of the organization says they should, exactly none. And even when you make it company policy, most people need many reminders before they can muster the guts to stand up to an authority like that.

Here’s a question to ponder for the next week: “If crossing organizational lines is so destructive, why is it so common?” Tune in for next week’s blog for the answer to this important question and the solution to the temptation to cross these lines.