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Managewhich Question: Who the “mans” the Role of Policy Police?

“The rules make it fair for everyone,”  a quote from one Managewhich who’s struggling with influencing and managing her peers.

The Managewhich was describing how other groups are rewarded for complaining (as opposed to problem-solving),  how other managers were giving undocumented vacation days in exchange for excessive for overtime, and other “rule-breaking” perks.  Her point of view is that the rules were put in place for a reason.  She follows the rules, and it makes her look like the bad guy when she doesn’t break them and others do.  She wants to influence her peers to follow the rules.

So, what got my hackles up is that back in the day, I did give people time off after they had worked overtime, and many times, I didn’t document it because the  company’s policy was not to give comp time.  I thought I was being humane.  And, I do think it’s patently unfair to require people to work 60+ hours a week and then dock them personal or vacation time to go to the doctor.  I don’t subscribe to the point of view that rules make things fair.  My point of view is more that most rules were put in place so that there is a written policy in place for firing underperformers.  Most rules are there to manage the exceptions, such those without a work ethic.  They aren’t there to replace judgment, leadership or management.  My priority was creating a staff happy, engaged, productive people who wanted to go the extra mile.

And, I can see her point because her value system places a high value in company policy, and if she’s being authentic to her values, her staff is being treated differently.  That’s a problem.

Her peers think she should mind her own business, and they see her as a meddlesome troublemaker.  They, too, have a point.

Then she said something else that got me to thinking.  She said that if she were a man, her point of view would command more respect.  My first thought (I admit with some trepidation), “If you were a man, you wouldn’t be behaving this way.”  In my experience, I’ve never seen a male Managewhich self appoint himself as the Policy Police, and I’m wondering if this isn’t one of those gender things.

My questions for you are:

  • What’s your view on “the rules”?
  • Do you think that self appointing oneself as the Policy Police is a primarily feminine behavior or do men in managewhich positions do it, too?
  • If you do see men in the Policy Police role, do they do it differently?
  • What would you do in this situation?

Please respond in the comments section below.

Be Your Best You Today,

Carolann Jacobs

p.s. – The beta version of Improve Performance NOW! kicks off in January, and it will cover topics like these (your challenges and dilemmas) in addition to foundational leadership skills and behaviors.  If you’d like to participate or you know someone who might benefit from participating, please email me to set up a time to chat one-on-one.  There are only 10 spots available, and it’s first come, first serve.

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