Terry Corbell, The Biz Coach
By Terry Corbell
Business Consultant

20 Warning Signs You’re Under-Performing as a Manager



There are indeed 20 warning signs that managers are under-performing. Managers can often struggle whether they’re new or even if they’re experienced. Poor management, of course, leads to poor performance.

As red flags, under-performing managers share common traits with their ineffective employees. Such managers aren’t fully aware of their employees’ and their own shortcomings.

Even if they are aware of deficiencies, they’re afraid to admit it.

Either way, nothing is done about the shortcomings. Accountability suffers.

There are 20 typical warning signs.

Here’s a list of questions – 20 tell-tale signs that you’re underperforming as a manager:

1. Is your department underperforming? It can be attributed to ineffective management.

2. Are you getting positive performance reviews from your boss? If not, that’s an indicator.

3. Do you have a strong image ? If you don’t enjoy employee loyalty or if peers are snubbing you, those are omens.

4. Are you a stress carrier? Whether its personal stress caused by conditions at home or career challenges, it can adversely affect your work relationships.

5. Do you engage in self-doubt? Weak decisions prompt actions leading to poor results.

6. Do your employees communicate well with you? Sometimes employees are distant because they’re unhappy with your style.

7. Are you careful to surround yourself with great employees? You don’t want a lot of yes-people. You want thinkers who will take ownership of their work.

8. Are you clear with your expectations of employee performance? If you’re nebulous in day-to-day interactions, instructions or in formal reviews, employees won’t deliver.

9. Do you make good investment for short-term and long-term success? Whether it’s technology or human resources training, good managers take productive steps and make insightful investments.

Poor management, of course, leads to poor performance.

10. Are you a go-to person? Does your boss look to you for solutions and projects, or are you overlooked? This means you’re not viewed as being a valuable resource.

11. Are you open-minded? Do you step outside your comfort zone? This means being able to be innovative and assertive, and you don’t settle for mediocrity.

12. Are you ambitious but disappointed with your career progress toward the C-suite? A manager who is good CEO-material has knowledge and ability in all areas of the business, not necessarily a doctorate-level expertise in any particular segment of the business.

13. Are you constantly looking for ways to improve? The best managers are voracious readers, and look for sources of good ideas and processes.

14. Do you instill a customer-focused organization? Task-oriented managers who are not focused on customer needs will not maximize profits.

15. Do you meet goals? If goals aren’t being met – whether it’s your department or your individual employees – performance will not been enhanced.

16. Do you have weak links on your team? It’s possible to have high-performing workers, but prima donnas are a liability if they don’t work well with others.

17. Are you ensuring company policies and values are upheld? If not the culture will be endangered and profits will suffer.

18. Are you on top of budgetary matters? In this business climate, it’s imperative to have a clear view of your department or company finances.

19. Do you regularly assess your business strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats? This is crucial for goal-setting and strategic planning.

20. Do you recognize employee and company success? Celebrations are good for everyone’s morale.

From the Coach’s Corner, for effective management, here are more resource links:

Leadership Strategies to Profit from Employee Respect — Even though Wall Street gets ecstatic over productivity growth, merely slashing costs and jobs to create profit is not sustainable for profits. Investors mistakenly believe the earnings for such publicly held companies are good, but it will not last. Workers are realizing they’re not sharing in the wealth. Poor morale will cause profits to plummet, and consumer demand will continue to plunge

Human Resources – Power Your Brand with Employee Empowerment — Are you investing in marketing, but not getting the anticipated return on your investment? If you’re disappointed by your ROI, remember marketing may or may not be the problem. Why? Consider there are two basic reasons for poor profits — again, that’s profits not revenue. The reasons include failure to adapt to a dynamic marketplace and failing to solve the internal factors that impede the control of costs, performance and quality.

Management Best-Practices Include Solid Operations Checklists — Are you concerned about profits? Would you like for your business to be in a class of its own? Not to oversimplify, obstacles to profits result from two basic barriers: External and internal challenges, or a combination of both.

21 Quick Tips to Avoid the Dark Side of Management — News headlines from Seattle to New York are cause for some serious head slapping. The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) continues to be inundated with worker complaints. Even the U.S. State Department issued a critical report of an ambassador, a Seattle businesswoman who was a prolific fundraiser for the first Obama election campaign.

15 HR Strategies to Improve Your Business Performance — Studies show many employees are dissatisfied in their workplaces. Employee dissatisfaction, of course, will adversely affect a company’s performance. The dissatisfaction is global and the trend is likely to continue unless businesses improve their approach.

“The best executive is the one who has sense enough to pick good men to do what he wants done, and self-restraint enough to keep from meddling with them while they do it.”

-Theodore Roosevelt


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Author Terry Corbell has written innumerable online business-enhancement articles, and is a business-performance consultant and profit professional. Click here to see his management services. For a complimentary chat about your business situation or to schedule him as a speaker, consultant or author, please contact Terry.




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Seattle business consultant Terry Corbell provides high-performance management services and strategies.