Too Many Wimpy Bosses

Have you noticed—in our increasingly “PC” (politically correct) society, people are often offended by the most amazingly trivial things?

Well, I’m thinking it’s time I expressed MYSELF about something that actually offends ME!

No, I’m not going to list here, ad nauseam, what could be my own arguable grievances with this same society—but a particular issue has come up way too often in my travels as a systems analyst and developer.

I’m fortunate to have the opportunity to work with many businesses—owners and managers. But, frankly, in all my years in business, I’ve never come across so many WIMPY BOSSES, as I do today!

In a time when the economy has caused many owners—who at some point had COURAGEOUSLY risked ALL in order to start or invest in an existing business—to find themselves buried in ever-increasing taxes, regulations, diminished (even demonized) profits, and struggling just to keep their doors open. I’m happy to say, some of these owners call on my company for help in systemizing their businesses, in order to become as lean and orderly as possible in these times. Also, to keep those doors open and to keep their workers (uh, should I say team members, associates or whatever) gainfully employed—having an actual job!

But then—here it comes—there are those owners who have more and more succumbed to that “political correctness” that has caused them to lose courage in the face of the demands and expectations of some they have hired in good faith, only to meet head-on with constant grievances they have apparently lost the courage to address!

According to some business owners today, many employees express OFFENSE at being called “workers.” And, God forbid, these same types of PC-driven employees should have to think of their employer as “the boss!”

What is it in many people today that makes them feel so ENTITLED to equal status, even as a new hire, that they seem to lack the ability to show respect for those who have seniority or ownership in a business?

Philip Beyer, founder/president of Beyer Printing and Ebiz Products LLC in Nashville, TN, is a chronic entrepreneur, business systems analyst and consultant, author of "System Busters: How to Stop Them in Your Business," and an InterTech Award recipient for the design and development of System100™ business process management software. Philip speaks to business owners across the country on how to bring lean, sustainable order to their businesses.
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  • Mark Bone

    We have become what we are through the lack of available talent and proper training at all levels. The reduction of incoming potentially capable applicants as well as the out going migration of our current work force results in promoting the best of what is available without totally understanding their true capacity / capability (they’re the best we have). In this approach, we often deplete lower levels of functioning individuals who are promoted into positions beyond their grasp – trickle up effect. This coupled with our need to be leaner due to margin erosion, results in no longer having the resources available to properly do what is needed to change this dysfunctional model. Locating and developing real talent is key and when that is achieved I can live with political correctness as the job will be done completely and properly.

  • Connie Kern

    Well-said and a pervasive problem today.

  • Harry

    All modern management theory and common sense would suggest that taking a sudden hard line with employees would be destructive. As a manager, I would not care what the employees want to be called: workers, team members, printing professionals, soldiers of fortune. As long as they are making money for me, I don’t care. I am surprised you missed an opportunity to leverage a workforce demand to achieve increased productivity. Might I suggest establishing an MBO program with a variable/pay-for-performance compensatory structure. I am sure that will get those QC forms filled out every time. It is better to establish a QA program because, as I am sure you realize, it costs less to do the job right the first time. Unless you are some management guru like Edwards Deming or Peter Drucker, you are going to hurt your head on that brick wall and lose a lot of money, time and employee KSAs. Employees seek leadership, not an overbearing task master with a stick. Employees actually want to do a good job. If there is a problem, it starts in management. I am not suggesting a servant leadership; what I am suggesting is that management communicate exactly what they expect and exactly what the employee can expect in return. I know, it’s a lot of work, but what’s a little effort to someone who has invested so much? It’s just managing your investment.