Am I a bad boss?

 Dear Agony Aunt,

My staff have always told me they love working for me. I give them time off when they ask, I let people work around school pick ups and I don’t complain about the occasional long lunch and people leaving early on Friday afternoon.


In the past few years we have more than doubled in size with very little staff turnover and we now have 33 staff!


Last year, to prevent a nervous breakdown, I hired a general manager from a large accountancy firm. She has a totally different perspective and told me in HER performance review that I was a “pushover”. In her view the nice things I do are bad business practices. She also says we are “carrying” several people – who should be dismissed.

Should I sack her instead?





Dear Leon,

Gee, I’m coming to work at your joint. Sounds like fun! All Friday off… well by the time people arrive at 9.30, have a bit of breakfast, it’s lunch and then home time! No wonder you nearly had a nervous breakdown – doing all their work.


Try sacking yourself instead. You might have had success up until now, with a great culture, but that is not going to last. But it’s called GROWING UP.

Your business is moving to a new level, and you do need a more formal culture. But you are lucky. It sounds like GM is willing to do the hard work for you.


What you have to do, Pushover, is ensure everyone knows the business is evolving into a new phase. Spell out that there will be lots of new benefits for everyone in being part of a larger company, including increased opportunity for promotion, more training, greater prestige. But let staff know that greater professionalism is also expected from them in return.


One thing though: Make sure GM doesn’t become the office kill joy, who kills off your culture with ridiculous rules and unnecessary procedures.






What are you waiting for? Email your questions, problems and issues to [email protected] right now!


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