Thursday, November 4, 2010

Good, Bad and Ugly Companies, Their Senior Officers/Managers, Bosses, and You

Before you sign on the dotted line you should consider that all companies ultimately demonstrate how Good, Bad or Ugly they are through their hiring practices and organizational culture.

When you apply a Bell curve to measure how ‘good’ or ‘bad’ a company is, only a few of whatever you are measuring will fall into either end of the curve. The majority of what you are measuring will fall somewhere in the middle. This same principle can be applied to the health of companies and the competency of their employees.
What follows are the main attributes of the most successful companies as well as the characteristics of their senior officers and managers. This information has been gathered and summarized from decades of studying, observing, motivating and inspiring employees to perform at their best:

  • Good companies and hiring managers will strive to will pay people what they are worth, not what they can get away with paying. They will supply a pay range for a specific opportunity and understand that more often than not, the amount the company chooses to pay is directly related to the competence level of potential employees.

  • Good companies encourage their employees to share their experiences and insights. Organizations that incorporate mentoring and coaching as a matter of course are more successful than those that do not. Knowledge transfer is good for both business and morale.

  • Good companies will share both good and bad news with their employees. The more senior officers within the company will share news in a factual manner and be there to answer any questions or concerns that arise from the announcements.

  • Good companies provide their managers with the necessary tools that enable them to do their jobs effectively. Good bosses keep management off employee’s backs.

  • The senior officers of good companies expect their managers to take the heat and share the praise. It takes courage to take the heat and humility to share the praise. This is an attribute that comes naturally to great bosses.

  • Good bosses delegate responsibilities, not tasks. Every boss delegates, but the ones that routinely dump the tasks they hate on workers will survive for only a limited amount of time. Good bosses delegate responsibility and hold people accountable. As a result, this symbiotic relationship becomes more fulfilling for both the boss and the subordinate and fosters professional growth.

  • Good bosses encourage employees to hone their natural abilities and challenge or help guide them to overcome their perceived obstacles.

  • Good companies encourage the building of team spirit. There is an exceptional, one-of-a-kind book that describes - in dramatic and insightful fashion - the conditions under which great groups occur. It’s called Organizing Genius: The Secrets of Creative Collaboration, by Warren Bennis and Patricia Ward Biederman. The 10 Rules of Great Groups (from the book’s original 15) are as follows:

    1. Great groups and great leaders create each other

    2. Every great group has a strong leader

    3. The leaders of great groups love talent and know where to find it

    4. Great groups think they are on a mission from God

    5. Great groups see themselves as winning underdogs

    6. Great groups always have an enemy

    7. People in great groups have blinders on

    8. Great groups are optimistic not realistic

    9. In great groups, the right person has the right job

    10. The leaders of great groups give them what they need and free them from the rest

  • Good bosses treat employees the way they deserve to be treated. This means that respect is not automatic; it must be earned.

  • Good bosses inspire people by sharing their passion for business. Good bosses can motivate people and inspire their employees by knowing just what to say and do at just the right time to take the edge off or turn a tough situation around. Genuine anecdotes help a lot. So does a good sense of humour.

All of the above adds up to an environment where people feel appreciated, recognized, challenged, and appropriately compensated. In order to help ensure that your next career move is as good as it could be, do your research. Find out everything you can about the company’s organizational structure and culture before you sign on the dotted line.

Copyright © 2010, Career Matters. All Rights Reserved.Permission to Reprint: This article may be reprinted, provided it appears in its entirety with the following attribution: Copyright © 2010, Career Matters. Reprinted by permission of Mary Salvino.“Career Matters” is a blog hosted by Mary Salvino, Senior Consultant for SMART Career This blog is dedicated to those who are seeking advice on managing their career and future job opportunities. We welcome readers to share their experiences, post their comments or ask questions about career related matters. For any questions or comments that are better addressed privately, please feel free to e-mail Mary directly at