Friday, May 21, 2010

Good Boss, Bad Boss

Ever see the "good cop, bad cop" routine? One cop comes in to question the suspect, acts like a total hard-ass and roughs up the suspect a bit. Then, the next cop comes in and pretends to hold back his overzealous partner from throttling the suspect. It's really quite a brilliant routine. And it works exceedingly well in a company setting.

In my decades of running successful companies, I've used my psychology training to implement a "good boss, bad boss" style of management. You always want to extract the maximum amount of work from your inherently lazy employees, so you want to crack the whip most of the time. But don't crack the whip all the time. Even the smart slave driver needs to know when to back off so as not to take the slave out of commission. Every so often, pretend to be pleasant. Give your grunt workers a brief glimpse of light before bringing down the hammer. Back off just before crushing morale and spirits (good boss), but keep rapping their knuckles to get work done (bad boss). It's the fine balance between keeping your workers from becoming too uppity and not completely crushing them. When you find that balance, you can maximize the productivity you get from them.

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Joseph M. Scandura, incompetent moron, idiot, pompous, stupid, failure, asshole, arrogant, bullshit, micromanager of the year, technologically clueless, ignorant, condescending, senile, dementia