Two Managers Heard in Starbucks: Leadership Not Evident

Last week, I stopped into Starbucks for about a half hour while in-between meetings. I settled in near two managers working on their laptops, talking on their cells and communicating with each other. It was clear they worked for the same company and interacted in their work. They seemed rather regular for managers, until one of them got a phone call from a subordinate. Hearing the manager’s end of the conversation, I found him to be dismissive and disrespectful to his subordinate. After the call, he said to the other manager (who appeared to be at a higher level of their organization), “Did you hear that call? ” It would have been hard not to, as his voice was raised during the call, as if he wanted others to hear. He then proceeded to criticize and disparage the person he had been talking to, smiling and appearing to think he was building camaraderie with the other manager. To me, he looked small.

It made me pause, witnessing the disrespect shown by the manager and the use of that disrespect of a subordinate to bond, or look superior, with the other manager.

Leading demands respectful treatment of each individual you work with; especially when interacting in view of others in an organization. Using someone to make yourself feel better, just doesn’t fit. Get over it.

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