Are You a High Maintenance Manager?

We’ve all had situations in our career where we were victims of an HMM – High Maintenance Manager.  As we become a manager ourselves, we unintentionally can become the very thing we loathe – a High Maintenance Manager.

More times than not a High Maintenance Manager isn’t aware of being an HMM; a lot of times those that are HMM’s, are driven and results oriented leaders who accomplish twice as much as their co-workers.  However being a High Maintenance Manager can stall your career and prevent you from getting to the place you want to go.

Are You a High Maintenance Manager:

Signs You’re a High Manitenance Manager

Many managers don’t necessarily consider themselves an HMM, a lot them may consider themselves just demanding or some High Maintenance Managers will say I work hard I deserve this; it’s a tricky line to tread.  It’s true if you’ve worked hard and you achieved a certain amount of career success you deserve some sort of appreciative treatment; however, HMM’s take it to a new level.  As a successful leader you need to be demanding at times however if you’re an HMM you’re no longer on the right side of demanding and you’re on the side of unruly.

Characteristics of a High Maintenance Manager:

·         Ungrateful

It’s fine to challenge your employees when they don’t necessarily do things appropriately.  However, it’s vital that you also recognize them as when they do things appropriately.

·         Minutia

It’s important to be a detail oriented individual, its one quality that helps an individual become successful in their career.  However, an HMM will take this very important quality to an extreme, they will major on the minors.  You don’t want to bog down your employee’s efficiency with minutia to ad nauseum.

·         Incorrigible

One quality a leader needs is the ability to know when to stick with a vision, when others don’t.  However, on the flip side of this great quality is what people tend to refer to as “hard headedness”.  The biggest problem here is the fact that a High Maintenance Manager ignores feedback and even if they receive feedback they don’t use it constructively.

Ways to Avoid Being a High Maintenance Manager

·         Feedback Loops

This is crucial, feedback loops enable us as leaders to hear from our direct reports and our superiors enabling us to become the leader we know we’re destined to be.  If people think you are a High Maintenance Manger than you are.  Don’t dismiss the feedback.  Don’t excuse your behavior because you’re so important or you work so hard, accept people’s complaints as reality and as an opportunity to grow.

·         Understand Your Influence on People

As leaders we have a significant impact on people whether positive or negative, don’t diminish our influence on others; with this said always assess your impact on people.

·         Be Appreciative

Understand that as a leader, people’s natural inclination will be to please you.  If you surrounded yourself with a good team they are not only working hard to complete the project but to learn your ways and give you what you want – they’re doing their best, say thank you to them and affirm their hard work.


If you’re a High Maintenance Manager you will eventually be stalled in your career track

It’s important to be self-aware and understand that there is a fine line between being a demanding and focused leader and a unruly and hard-headed manager.  To get to where you want to go, be cognizant of this fact and listen to those around you to become the leader you’re destined to be.


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