I’ve Had It: A Rant Against How We Lead and Manage Our People

by | Aug 2, 2023 | blog | 0 comments

I’ve had it. 

I’m so done with people not treating each other with thoughtful respect and authentic care in the workplace. We’re missing the opportunity to get (and give) the best from the people we lead, and it’s pissing me off.

I’m so done with bosses not seeing the necessity of being both competent and confident in giving and receiving feedback — not recognizing that these are skills and muscles that don’t come naturally, and they need to work on making themselves stronger.

I’m so done with throwing up our hands with “those Gen Z entitled whiners and complainers” and not seeing the value and humanity they bring to our consciousness and maturity as leaders and people managers.

I’m so done with workplaces being transactional, where work = pay, and not transformational, where work = life. I’m sick of the wasted spirit, talent, and value-add that we squander by staying with the idea that humans are resources to be “stick and carrot” exploited instead of celebrated, valued, and nurtured.

I’m so sick of bad hires… having people who are stuck, miserable in their jobs, with managers who are miserable in supervising them.

And lastly, I’m so sick and tired of the false premise that leaders know more than the people they supervise – that the patriarchal, white-supremist, top-down model of leadership is what we still inevitably fall back on as the dominant “best way of doing things around here.”

I’m done ranting – still frustrated but feeling better just getting this off my chest. Thank you.

Because I’m also hopeful … 

I’m hopeful that our younger generations will be patient with us as they teach us that personal identity, passion, commitment, and values can all be celebrated and valued in the workplace. That if leaders would just get their shit together (apologies, I guess I’m still ranting), they would see that by tapping into this deep well of an individual’s unique drives and talents, the sky is the limit with creativity, productivity, and work output.

I’m hopeful that artificial intelligence (AI) will teach us the importance of humanity, empathy, care, and compassion. Because right now, this cold “thinking” tool we have working for us lacks all these qualities – and we have them in abundance – if we’d just get out of our spreadsheets, workplans, KPIs, and the need to meet our goals and metrics. The future of work is in the human touch – AI will never replace that. It’s time to invest and strengthen our “soft skills.” The world needs us to do that.

I’m hopeful that we are starting to recognize both the art and the science of what it takes to be a great leader and manager, and that this recognition will be what pulls us away from the top-down, patriarchal, exploitative model we can’t seem to push away from. Understanding the beauty and power of our unique individual leadership palette will save us … if we nurture it in ourselves and value it in others.

We are at the edge of a new way of working and leading people – a compassionate, emotionally-intelligent, nurturing way of getting our widgets made and our clients served. The choice is now ours: stay with the old and push people to work harder, or go with the new awareness and definition of work to leverage the human spirit, find the unique talent palette you need (and pay them equitably), and then get out of their way as you pull them into a workplace that is relationship-based and human-valued.

I’ll stay hopeful and keep working with clients who want the same. The world is inviting us to show that kind of leadership.

About Danny

With over 20 years experience in training and leadership development  — and holding an MBA and an MA in Organizational Development — Danny Ceballos has worked with organizations across the country to strengthen their effectiveness in leading and managing others through supervision+motivation best practices and strategies.