The late arriving manager

By Ken Keller

Dear Ken Keller,

Since I promoted someone into a management role, they have gone from being early to work and staying late to always arriving later than my other employees and leaving when the hourly workers go home. When I asked him about it he said that as a manager, he no longer had to punch a clock and could arrive late and leave when he wanted to.

Ron T.

Dear Ron,

I think you need to speak to an employment attorney about whether or not you really promoted someone into management or did you give them a title and they are really a manager in name only.

Assuming that the individual in question meets all of the legal requirements for being in management, you have a troubling situation developing.

Individuals in management are supposed to set an example to those they lead, and instead of that happening, this individual has developed a “rank has its privileges” attitude which appears to be something new to your company. This is a virus you do not want spreading into your company.

This is a troubling attitude because as the owner you want as much “we” as possible and to limit the “me” factor to the point where it non-existent. The “me” attitude is appropriate for a two year old but witnessing it in an adult in a management role is both disappointing and scary.

You need to quickly decide if this individual is coachable or not because part of your responsibilities is to help every individual become better.

Don’t delay having this necessary discussion, bring your attorney in to the meeting if necessary. And, if your newly appointed manager doesn’t change how they think and operate very quickly, you need to find someone more malleable and understanding to take the position.


Dear Ken Keller,

Like most owners I am overwhelmed with things to do, so much so that I have started to procrastinate on things I know I need to get done. In the past I never had this issue, I would always just get into things and work until I was satisfied with the results.

Dear Dave.

Perhaps there have been some changes in the external environment your business is operating in, some issues inside your company, or some personal matters that have caused you to change how you approach your work and the projects in front of you.

Procrastination often sets in when people are overwhelmed with one assignment and so they delay acting on all the things they need to do. This frequently happens when a project requires making difficult decisions.

To get out of the rut you are in, I recommend you take the time to layout all the projects you have and get each one organized so that you are clear about the deliverables for each and the decisions that need to be made (as far as you know).

Start on the easiest project you have and work until you hit a wall or grow tired of that project and then move to the next easiest. This process will help you to get started, stay moving, make progress and will provide you with a sense of accomplishment.

You may not ever be ready to make some of the decisions you need to complete every project but in the meantime your backlog should start to decrease and you will feel better about what you are trying to do.


Ken Keller is a syndicated business columnist focused on the leadership needs of small and midsize closely held companies. Contact him at KenKeller@SBCglobal.net. Keller’s column reflects his own views and not necessarily those of this media outlet.

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