Get Down In The Trenches (As A Private)

If you’re an owner or an upper level manager don’t go into a subordinates position as the owner or manager and then think you have experienced what they do and experience on a daily level.

Sometimes an owner or executive may get agitated with their employee’s performance.  They then proceed to do the same job for a day or just a few hours and get great results.

The owner or manager then assumes that they are this superior worker with superior skills to get things done and come to the conclusion that it’s not a process problem, it’s a personnel problem.

What they don’t see is all the roadblocks that the everyday worker has to deal with.  They don’t see the intradepartmental friction or the interdepartmental friction.  They don’t see the apathetic coworker and managers.  They don’t see the poor and adversarial attitudes.

How do they miss all this stuff?

Because they’re an owner.

Everyone knows the power they wield.  They could fire you in a heartbeat.

So the mid level and lower level managers who normally are telling their team that they’re too busy to help or who decide to send back your request because an “i” isn’t dotted and a “t” isn’t crossed are suddenly willing to bend over backwards to help out.

The higher up is going to get unrealistic help from everyone.  The kind of help the common guy in the trenches isn’t going to see.

Everyone is willing to part the Red Sea for these guys when they wouldn’t even throw you a life preserver so you can keep your head above water.

No one is going to interrupt the owner in the middle of their work like they do for you.  The manager isn’t going to walk up to the owner or his boss and say “I need this done right way” like they do to you. And you say “but I have to have these three things done right now”.  To which your manager responds “ well, you figure it out, work smarter not harder.  Now I’m leaving early to get my hair cut.”

Nope the owner ain’t gonna hear anything like that.  It will be “yes sir” and “no sir” and “right way sir, whatever you need sir”.

After the owner or company executive has spent about an hour or two doing the job without a single interruption, roadblock or attitude they turn and say, “see how well I did this and it’s not even my job, what’s wrong with you?”

What a shame.

Here was the owner’s opportunity to see all the hurdles and roadblocks that cost them time and money and they allowed it to all be hidden in the closet only to be brought back out after they leave.

Some new processes and procedures may be put into place but nothing will be changed.

I never watched the show “Undercover Boss” and I’m sure most of the “reality” on the show was manufactured for the TV audience.  But that is how the boss should do it.

Problem is with most companies everyone know the owners and executives.

So all you managers that go into new departments or companies, maybe before anyone realizes who you are, get down in the trenches and see what it’s really like to be the lowly private, the common guy.

© Otis P Smith and About the Groove, 2015. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Otis P Smith and About the Groove with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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