5 Easy Steps to Fail as a Manager


Having worked both as a manager, and also as an employee of both excellent and dreadful managers, I’ve seen just about every management style around. I’ve also, unfortunately, experienced some people who should never be in a position of authority, for various reasons. With that in mind, I’ve created 5 easy steps that will help you to fail as a manager.

1. Always avoid confrontation

If you want to fail as a manager, it’s important that you do anything to avoid confrontation. You don’t want to have uncomfortable conversations with people, and you definitely don’t want to discipline anyone. It’s better if you just send group emails about things that you want to change, that way you don’t actually have to talk to anyone and then you can point to the email as you having done something, if and when things get out of hand. If there is a problem with an employee not pulling their weight or bullying other team members, remember that it’s always easier to ask the good employees to change their behaviour to suit the bad one, rather than the other way around.

2. Pick Up On the Small Things

Micro management is fun! Forget the big issues that will, by now, be going on with morale and your staff. Make sure you go on a rampage about personal items on people’s desks, or about people washing their own coffee mugs. (Don’t forget – do this via email, not in person). By focusing on a lot of small things that don’t matter, you can pretend that you’re doing something, while avoiding any actual managing.

3. Never Take Criticism

It’s important that you view yourself as being above everyone else. You’re the manager for a reason, after all! If someone has a problem with your management style, you should freeze them out. Don’t accept their criticism, and take the fact that they’d even say anything personally. If the criticism is coming from above you, then do everything possible to cover your tracks. Don’t take responsibility for mistakes, and take any opportunity to blame failings on your team. That’s what they’re there for.

4. Be as Vague as Possible

The first thing you should do when you become a manager is learn a lot of jargon. That way when people ask you questions that you don’t know the answer to you can use circular talk to say nothing at all.


“Moving forward, let’s drill down into incentivising cost containment. Let me get all my ducks in a row in this space, and we can assess the impact and cascade that down. Ok?”

5. Have Unrealistic Expectations

Motivate your staff by setting them goals that no human being could achieve. Make them increase sales by 20,000%. Get 3 million new customers on board. And have it all done by the end of the day. That should do it!

There you have it. 5 simple steps to fail as a manager. It takes some practice for some, and others are natural talents.

Wishing you a productive week.