The Mike Issue
I’ve been working in a medium-sized manufacturing company for the past 20 years. I’m not in sales, but interact with salespeople on a daily basis. Over the past year or so, I have noticed the sales force has been frustrated. After numerous conversations not only with the sales force, but also with other people in all aspects of the company, I have realized that the poison is coming from one person: Mike the sales manager. Mike has been with the company for over 10 years and has successfully maneuvered his way to the position of sales manager. All of his promotions were given to him because of his own self-promotion. He has an enormous ego. His tactics of bulldog management, double standards, and outright lying are driving his sales force out and are frustrating people all over the company. He is disliked, even hated, by almost everyone in the company. Amazingly, Mike doesn’t realize what people think of him. I believe the owners tolerate Mike’s behavior because he has produced decent sale over the years. This year sales are substantially down. I believe the company is going to start to lose good salespeople because of Mike. Here’s why: Nobody will confront him because if they do, threatens them or makes them do some ridiculous assignment. All conversations with Mike are one-sided. If you bring up a concern that involves him, he will change the subject and dismiss you. It’s like he is afraid of the truth. He is dishonest and essentially a loose cannon. I believe the owners know the truth about Mike but they continue to let him act this way. I believe Mike will never leave because he knows he could never get away with the things he does here anywhere else. My concern is that if the owners don’t fix the “Mike problem” they will start to lose good salespeople.
1. What type of managerial incompetence is this? What information lead to this decision?
2. What advice would you give?