Top 40 Business Tips #31: Don’t Manage Like Ebenezer Scrooge


Ebeneezer Scrooge from Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol” had lots of issues didn’t he? But he’s not too dissimilar to many command and control style bosses around today. James Sarros from Monash University says this old-style behaviour is still prevalent and ego has a part to play in this behaviour. But, it’s highly distructive in the workplace.

Naomi Simson takes a more empathetic approach to her team at Red Balloon Days because, she says, ensuring your employees are engaged is far more productive, leading to more effective commercial outcomes. She says people like their work, but she’s not running a kindergarten!

The key for a boss, says Richard Dunks from Vantage Human Capital, is to earn respect from the team. That’s a very different thing to trying to be everyone’s friend in the workplace. It’s all a question of balance, he says.

The problem is, the most effective management behaviour often goes against our instinctive human behaviours — traits like our demand for hierarchy. Another, says Andrew O’Keeffe, is “contest and display”, which relates to our competitive desire to look good in what we do. We need to be aware of these traits so we can overcome them or use them for effective outcomes.

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