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6 Management Tactics That Drive Employees Crazy

Take a good, hard look at this list, bosses. What seem like logical moves to you might be stressing your employees to the max.

Everyone knows that hectic employees are productive employees, so here's how to ensure your entire team is always on their toes and on tenterhooks:

1. Set multiple priorities. Since having one priority is good, multiple priorities is even better. Why have a single most important task or goal when every task and goal can be equally important?

2. Constantly reprioritize. Once you've set your multiple priorities, be sure to switch them around, add new ones, temporarily remove old ones, and so forth. Success in today's business world is all about flexibility.

3. Expect the unreasonable. Now that you've explained what you want, set non-negotiable "stretch" goals that can't possibly be achieved. Be sure to tie compensation and raises to the achievement those goals.

4. Dole out permission. At this point, your employees should be fully motivated and busy. However, you don't want them to do things without proper approval! Make certain that they run everything by you.

5. Shoot messengers. Risk management is crucially important, so now it's time to ensure that nothing goes wrong. The best way to accomplish this is to publicly punish anybody who screws up. That way they won't screw up.

6. Micromanage. And finally we get to management's most important role... making certain that everything runs smoothly. Don't be satisfied with monthly or weekly status reports! Think daily or even hourly! The more the better!

Or maybe that's all just so much bullsh*t. If so, though, why do so many bosses use these tactics?

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Last updated: Jan 17, 2014


Geoffrey James, a contributing editor for, is an author, speaker, and award-winning blogger. Originally a system architect, brand manager, and industry analyst inside two Fortune 100 companies, he's interviewed more than a thousand successful executives, managers, entrepreneurs, and gurus to discover how business really works. His most recent book is Business Without the Bullsh*t: 49 Secrets and Shortcuts You Need to Know. If you enjoyed this post, sign up for the free weekly Sales Source newsletter.

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