THE BRYCE IS RIGHT!

Software for the finest computer – the Mind

  • Tim’s YouTube Channel

  • Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

    Join 2,082 other followers


  • "BRYCE's UNCOMMON SENSE SERIES"
    4 New Printed Books & eBooks from Tim on:
    Change/Technology, Management, Politics, and the American Scene
    Click HERE.

  • Categories

  • Fan Page

  • Since 1971:
    "Software for the finest computer - The Mind"

    Follow me on Twitter: @timbryce

    hit counter

     

  • Subscribe

THE TIN HORN COMPLEX

Posted by Tim Bryce on May 9, 2016

BRYCE ON MANAGEMENT

– A term to characterize the micromanager.

(Click for AUDIO VERSION)
To use this segment in a Radio broadcast or Podcast, send TIM a request.

Something has been bothering me lately in management and, until now, I have had trouble coming up with a term or expression to describe it. It has to do with how nonprofits are run. I presume you already know I hold nothing but contempt for micromanagement, where a superior directs the activities of his subordinates to the sublime degree. Instead of treating people like the responsible professionals they are, we prefer to treat them like cattle instead.

I have been in many different nonprofit groups, everything from professional societies for management and technology, to sports groups, fraternal organizations, school groups, and home owner associations. In all instances, it seems a “Tin Horn” somehow rises up through the ranks and assumes control of the group. It’s not because they are gifted in management, most certainly are not, but they happen to have some free time on their hands, and having never done anything of substance in life, becomes the Attila the Hun of the group.

I call them “Tin Horn” leaders as they are contemptible people who pretend to have the guile and skills necessary to manage an organization. With rare exception, most do not. Instead, their style of management is based on pacifying their ego, not the wants and needs of their constituents. Control is of utmost importance to them as they want to exert unbending rule over people, something they never held in their professional life. They do this in the hope of receiving personal accolades, not the group overall. Yet, when things turn sour, as they inevitably do, they are quick to blame others, not themselves.

I have seen this phenomenon in fraternities, a variety of groups, even garden clubs. More recently, we are witnessing this is the Republican and Democratic parties where the “establishment” is being challenged by their constituents, thereby forcing a cultural revolution within the parties. Some people suggest it is time to start a new third party. My answer is, “how would this be any different?” Inevitably, a Tin Horn would emerge and take charge, and will try to micromanage everything to death. In other words, a new political party won’t solve anything, it will just make the same mistakes.

I am often asked by people at nonprofits why attendance is diminishing and why the constituents are becoming apathetic. It’s simple, you have lost touch with the people who now believe their advice or skills mean nothing to management. Why participate if the leaders do not want to hear your input?

Such management arrogance means you do not believe your workers are intelligent to accomplish the work, and lack motivation and professionalism. And understand this, your workers are not fools and will recognize your disdain for them immediately. A real turn off.

Ideally, the leader of any group should offer direction, train the staff, set the tone for getting the job done, and get out of the way. It is essential to allow his subordinates to perform the work to the best of their ability thereby encouraging participation. If you want to breed leaders for the future of your organization, it is essential you allow them to participate.

The delineation between Tin Horn and real manger is exemplified in an old movie I recently watched, “Zulu” (1964). The movie told the historical story of a small British detachment consisting of 150 soldiers faced with fighting a massive Zulu army of 4,000 warriors in Africa in 1879. There were two lieutenants vying for command, one (Michael Caine) who liked the pomp and circumstance of being an English officer, and another (Stanley Baker) as a results oriented engineer. Fortunately, the engineer assumed command and turned a bloody defeat into a surprising victory. Today, we have too many managers who prefer pomp and circumstance over results.

In addition to Tin Horns in nonprofits, we also see Tin Horn parents; what we refer to today as “helicopter parents” who constantly monitor their siblings even when they are away at school, and hold their hand in job interviews. This is simply obnoxious and detrimental to the maturation process of the young person. It is one thing for a young person to request advice and assistance, quite another when the parent constantly tells them what to do.

One last note, the only thing worse than a Tin Horn manager in a nonprofit, is a Tin Horn manager in a commercial enterprise. It is simply dehumanizing and counterproductive.

Also published with News Talk Florida.

Keep the Faith!

Note: All trademarks both marked and unmarked belong to their respective companies.

Tim Bryce is a writer and the Managing Director of M&JB Investment Company (M&JB) of Palm Harbor, Florida and has over 30 years of experience in the management consulting field. He can be reached at timb001@phmainstreet.com

For Tim’s columns, see:   timbryce.com

Like the article? TELL A FRIEND.

Copyright © 2016 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

NEXT UP:  A NEW WAR BETWEEN THE STATES? – It’s already here and New York cast the first shot in the LGBT debate.

LAST TIME:  THE CHARM OF A RAINY DAY  – The idea is to relax, right?

Listen to Tim on WZIG-FM (104.1) in Palm Harbor,FL; KIT-AM (1280) in Yakima, Washington “The Morning News” with hosts Dave Ettl & Lance Tormey (weekdays. 6:00-9:00am Pacific); and WWBA-AM (News Talk Florida 820). Or tune-in to Tim’s channel on YouTube.

Advertisements

2 Responses to “THE TIN HORN COMPLEX”

  1. Brian Haffenden said

    HI TIM, OR AS WE SAY DOWN HERE IN AUSSIE LAND, “G’DAY MATE!” YES, IT’S ME AGAIN! YET AGAIN YOU HAVE HIT THE NAIL FAIRLY AND SQUARELY ON THE HEAD. THIS ARTICLE I WILL BE FORWARDING ON TO SEVERAL ‘ENLIGHTENED BRETHREN’ INCLUDING A FEW THAT HAVE GOT TO THE TOP OF THE MASONIC TREE, AND SOME WHO ASPIRE TO GET THERE. CONGRATULATIONS ON YET ANOTHER FINE ARTICLE. CHEERS, BRIAN

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

 
%d bloggers like this: