Let’s call a spade a spade, shall we? Exploitation gets you places and gets things done. Enough of this namby-pamby employee empowerment nonsense. Crushing your workers’ souls should be your primary goal. Rise up and lay waste to your pitiful underlings. Commit to memory the following tactics and cement your position as a Demogorgon of middle management.
Tactic 1: Steal credit for your employees’ hard work.
Make your staff do all the work for you. Never invite them to important meetings or acknowledge their contributions. Your name should be the only one on the report regardless of what Shannon did to put it together. Who worked directly under Steve Jobs? Nobody knows, nobody cares.
Tactic 2: Don’t let employees out of your sight.
With today’s technology, you can literally be up an employee’s ass 24 hours a day. So get up there, build a home and live in it. Call them in the wee hours of the morning. Create false accounts and troll them on social media. Send vile messages on Snapchat and deny ever doing so. Force them to eat lunch at their desks and as soon as they unwrap that sandwich, burst through the door and call an emergency meeting.
Tactic 3: Blame everyone but yourself.
“Janet did it.” Practice saying this in your office over and over again. When your superiors ask why something wasn’t done, you’ll be able to respond at lightning speed. Every effective manager needs a Janet.
Tactic 4: Defend yourself against employee accusations.
Have these key phrases locked and loaded at all times:
“That is not true. You threw that three-hole-puncher at yourself.”
“How can it be offensive if it’s in the Bible?”
“Of course we promote minorities.”
Tactic 5: Create an impossible work environment.
Break employee initiative early so they have a 0% chance of success. Assign difficult jobs, pressure them into taking on too much responsibility and act perpetually disappointed. Start every meeting by sighing, throwing your hands up and shaking your head vigorously. Micromanage and cancel projects at the last minute. Perhaps most importantly, never, ever compliment anyone. Ever. Employees who don’t believe in themselves pose no threat to your position.
Tactic 6: Set a trap.
Create a false email account and message your team with the subject line “I hate our boss.” Fire anyone dumb enough to reply.
Tactic 7: Hide your weaknesses, be vague in your direction and when pressed, focus on insignificant details.
Let’s face it, you’re not smart enough to come up with ideas. So vomit out clichés that have no meaning, such as “Let’s circle the wagons,” “We gotta come to Jesus people,” and “Let’s not throw pies in the dark.” Nobody will know what you’re talking about, but you’ll sound like you do. If anyone asks a follow-up question, resort to pointing out missing commas and periods to distract them.
Tactic 8: Pit team members against each other.
Remember that when employees fight amongst themselves, their rage is not directed at you. To set things in motion, schedule a meeting at 6 a.m. on a Sunday and tell everyone it was the only time Larry could meet. Sit back and watch the resentment percolate.
Tactic 9: Say one of these when your staff is dissatisfied:
“What’s good for the goose is good for the gander.”
“Shit falls down.”
“Everything comes out in the wash.”
“The race needs to start somewhere.”
“This hurts me more than it hurts you.”
Tactic 10: Lie, cheat, dupe and repeat.
When in doubt, follow the mantra above.
Now you have everything you need to rule your middle management kingdom with an iron fist. Listen closely. You hear that? It’s been five minutes, and your employees are already starting to feel good about themselves. So get out there and crush those dreams.