Over this past weekend, one of my wife's friends, who used to be a co-worker, stopped by the house. I hadn't seen her in a long while, but I knew that over the past 6 months her department had undergone a management change. I asked her how things were going with the new manager.

Her response was shocking to me; she said:

"I don't know if things are better or not. Whereas the previous manager was always coming upstairs barking at us to have better production times, even though she didn't know what we did, after the new manager's first week we almost never see or hear from her. What's worse is that we had some bigwigs come visit the department. She asked one of the other techs to put a little presentation together, she never talked to him about it, the day came and she never showed up, he did a great job, enough that the CEO of the hospital sent a letter saying how impressed everyone was, and then she took all the credit for putting it together."

I was appalled. I was thinking about the type of gall it takes to claim credit for the work someone else did without being any part of it. You can bet she'd have been quick to chew him out if it hadn't gone so well.

It's bad enough being an absentee leader; the workers have no idea if she even knows what they do, which is pretty much like the previous manager, only they knew she didn't know. It's worse when you minimize the work employees do, to the extent that you claim credit for their success as if they didn't have anything to do with it.

Can you imagine how demoralized the employees are? If this particular department had a problem with employees before what makes anyone reading this think they'll feel any better now? Whereas previous management was so bad that many good employees left, bad management started off well by removing some of the less competent elements of the department, then become one herself, and probably doesn't realize that a couple of the good employees that are left are thinking about leaving. Where will this leave the department? Will anyone even know how to evaluate it if they leave?

People who work for you or do work for you are not your slave. They're not there just to make you look good; this isn't a ghostwriting opportunity, where you get to pay someone else to put together something so you can claim authority you don't have. I always say that no business is as strong as the employees who are willing to come to work everyday and give their all.

Employees don't really ask for all that much; they want to be paid fairly, have an opportunity to have some say in the work they do, and get a little bit of appreciation. Employers who don't do any of these things almost always find themselves going through employees in big numbers and wondering why they can't find anyone qualified.

Who's not really qualified in this instance?