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Submitted by MT_Manager_S on


I am at the Mid-Year point and I am a new manager leading a team of 60 or so. This team is led by 7 managers who our my directs. I have held off on negative feedback as I establish trust via O3s. As we hit the mid year, I want to approach some negative leaning feedback with a couple of the managers.

I have a couple of stubborn managers. They appear to prefer to do their own thing exclusive of the organizations direction. Any direction provided can regularly be met with a challenge, or push back. In their defense, its due to the past manager and his lack of direction and guidance. They have learned to act on their own due to past lack of guidance. They are running the team collectively with no alignment to the organization.  As I work to align guidance, some have a stubborn way and its hard to get them to bend on their approach. I have a lot to work here, but for now, I believe their is a podcast defining the need for a little bend and flexibility to be successful as a manager. This is one point I want to talk on. I cant find it, any help?



LEmerson's picture

The starting point is sharing a specific goal. It will make things works a lot more smoothly the closer your end motives are to each other. Work on finding solid points of agreement you can build on. Once you share a vision you can move to make it real. Let the managers be directly involved in planning how to meet the goals. Write it all down in some kind of manual structure. It's amazing how well people will buy into plans when they helped make the rules. Then let the managers manage. You hold them accountable, and they hold you accountable as well.

shellandflame's picture

I agree with you, LEmerson on this.  Part of the discussion needs to be setting MT goals.  "The team will do A, B, & C by X,Y, &Z dates."  If the manager continues to be stubborn, you've got a written commitment to discuss what happened.  The question could be along the lines of "What did you think would happen when we discussed doing A by X date, but you did something completely different?"  

If they're a good team player, they'll adjust their behavior and it won't be an issue.

If they're stubborn, you've created the documentation for further coaching and perfromance discussions.  This could lead to changes, a coaching plan, or even termination.  But at that point, you'll have gotten thier concurrence on goals they are choosing not to meet.

AmandaChase's picture
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It is great that you have held off on negative feedbacks until you feel you and your directs are ready.  I am not sure if you have implemented positive feedback but you would want to before jumping into adjusting feedback. If you have been providing positive feedback on what they are doing well that is great! 

While these do not cover your topic specifically, these podcasts might give you some support on how to approach the situation. 

Good Lieutenants Makes Good Captains:

Leader's Intent:

My Direct Doesn't Want To Change:

If you need help with aligning goals:


jrb3's picture
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See "Rolling DOWN the Trinity" (released 2010-03-28).

LIkely, once they see the benefits of you doing one-on-ones with them (4-6 months?), they'll be much happier to start rolling it out themselves.  Especially with the "Rolling Out the Trinity With Your Team" podcast in hand!

Maybe also pair that with telling them about the podcasts, sending them to Manager Tools trainings, and expensing them Manager Tools licenses? ;-)