New Year, Bad Way to Start: A Management Mistake

by Michael Haberman on January 4, 2010 · 0 comments


Over the holidays I was going to be a good blogger and do what many others were doing and come up with my TOP 10 list (or TOP 5) or make predictions of what to watch out for in 2010. But I spent most of that time sick in bed with cold/flu/food poisoning (pick on of the above.) So I was not really motivated to write on anything, needless to say. (Hmmmm if it was needless to say, why did I say it?) I am still a bit fuzzy brained and I may yet write on some of those topics, but I did want to relate a story that shows a management team starting off on the wrong foot and setting a bad example and a bad precedent.

Fortunately this is not a business example. It is a local county government. I will not name the county, it is really irrelevant to the story. Some of you may recognize this story. In this story we have a police chief with whom the Board of County Commissioners is unhappy. They accuse him of insubordination, mishandling sexual harassment investigations, poor monetary management, poor evidence storage, missing firearms, mismanagement of police chases and just poor management in general. They hold a public hearing (open government I suppose), make public the charges and do not allow him to make any statement defending himself. (He makes his statement anyway, to the press.) Then they announce their job action.

Now any business oriented human resources reader might come to the conclusion that their job action was termination. Most businesses I know probably would have made this decision. However, in this case they demote him and put him in charge of (get this) THE TRAINING ACADEMY! Yes, the Training Academy where all new officers are prepared for their jobs. Unbelievable! Whether or not the accusations are true or not is irrelevant. If they truly believed he was guilty of even half of the accusations why would they put him in charge of the training of incoming officers. What does this say to those officers? What does it say about their view of ethics? What does it say about their view of management? I was flabbergasted! (Click on the word for definition.)      

I would hope that business would not make this type of mistake, but I have a sneaking suspiscion I would be disappointed. I have seen some poor decisionmaking when it comes to employees who are protected by policy, or relationships, or have a stronger will than the management or HR representative. How about you? Have you ever seen anything as outrageous as this? Tell us your story.

And Happy New Year and best wishes for a profitable, successful 2010 to all my readers.

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

TLColson January 4, 2010 at 11:28 am

Just run a google search for Greensboro NC police department or Greensboro City Manager and you'll see why all I could comment was "was you said".

I wonder if it happens more in the south due to the inevitable family connections and good ole boys network?

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Term paper March 4, 2010 at 4:35 am

It’s quite appreciable that such information is being shared through a huge network. Keep it up.

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