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Characteristics of three general counsel as bad managers

In the words of Jeffrey Pfeffer and Robert I. Sutton, Hard Facts, Dangerous Half-Truths & Total Nonsense: Profiting from Evidence-Based Management (Harvard Bus. School Press 2006) at 191, years of research into organizational climates have routinely found that “60% to 75% of the employees in any organization … report that the worst or most stressful part of their job is their immediate supervisor.” That quote set me to thinking about three general counsel I have consulted to who were at least in part bad managers.

One was too busy and too disorganized to communicate effectively with his reports. Another was heedless of the inconvenience he caused others, with meetings called on a moment’s notice or cancelled at the last moment. And he rethought everything people had done, starting from scratch. A third did not care if he was liked or not and was a bully. All were too sure of themselves, too unaware of how their department staff viewed them, and too unpredictable.

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