By Simeon Mpamugoh
President, American University of Nigeria, (AUN), Yola, Adamawa State, Dr. Dawn Dekle, has identified lack of positive attitude, leadership and communication skills, dress sense, and inability to overcome fear and doubt as prime reasons people are fired from workplaces.
Dekle, who was guest speaker at the eighth Management Day lecture organised recently by the Nigeria Institute of Management (Chartered), explained that absence of technical knowledge and certifications had a potential of limiting one’s income.
“We are hired for our hard skills, but then fired for our lack of soft skills,” she said.
The event took place at the Chris Abebe Auditorium, Management House, Idowu Tailor Street, Victoria Island, Lagos, recently.
The don, speaking on the theme “Imagining 2019: The New World of Work and Personal Effectiveness,” enjoined managers to delegate some authority to their subordinates. She added that not getting enough sleep, exercise, skipping breakfast and eating lunch at odd times, as well as not taking breaks during the day, could lead to energy crises.
Dekle urged managers to manage their energies, not their time. She expressed the need for managers to act on or delegate tasks that are urgent and plan or eliminate tasks that are not urgent.
She stated: “Fifty-six per cent of workers claim their boss is mildly or highly toxic, 75 per cent say their boss is the most stressful part of their workday, while 50 per cent of workers have left a job to get away from the boss at some point in their career.
“Workers who report to toxic bosses are 60 per cent more likely to suffer heart attack, strokes, depression, anxiety, and chronic stress. It can take up to nearly two years to recover physically and emotionally from a toxic boss,” she said.
She offered tips on how to manage a bad boss: “Stop thinking of him or her as a boss, start thinking of him or her as a difficult client to manage.”
She also identified two kinds of teamwork, loyalist team and saboteur team, noting that 70 per cent of the variance between loyalist and saboteur team was due to the team relationship.
“It only takes one toxic team member to destroy a high-performing team, so beware of quiet disharmony,” Dekle warned.
She said that email, phone and personal interaction should be appropriately used in communication within an organisation.
“Email should be used for non-urgent matters – scheduling a meeting, document, facts, follow-up
to a meeting, etc, and not for resolving conflicts. Phone should be for voice tone, response to email far away, follow-up to an invitation, etc, and not for resolving conflict. The in-person is ideal for nonverbal cues, bad news, trust building, conflict resolution and brainstorming,” she said.
President and chairman of council, Nigerian Institute of Management (Chartered), Prof. Olukunle Iyanda, FNIM, in an address, “Towards a World Management Day,” said that, given the crucial role of management in the mobilisation, allocation, and transformation of resources for the benefit of humanity, the harmony and productivity of the workplace, and the peace and advancement of nations, management deserved a day for celebration and recognition worldwide.
He said that the world that already designates a day for every conceivable issue under the sun could not afford to neglect management, which is the catalyst for human wellbeing and progress.
Iyanda called on the United Nations to adopt November 19 as World Management Day, even as he said that the institute was following up on earlier efforts through the Ministry of External Affairs to present a proposal to the United Nations to declare November 19 World Management Day.
“Such a declaration would underline the indispensability of good management to the achievement of peace and human advancement, which constitute the mission of the United Nations, and facilitate the achievement of the UN’s Millennial Development Goals,” he said.
He called on the Federal Government to declare November 19 “National Management Day,” adding that Nigeria and its people would certainly benefit from the promotion, inculcation and propagation of the knowledge and values of professional management in all the leading
functionaries both in the public and the private sectors.
He said the first five editions of the lecture series were held on the second Tuesday of April, in 2016 and noted that the institute moved the date to November 19 in honour of Professor Peter
Frederick Drucker, a management teacher, who was born on November 19,
1909 and died on November 11, 2005.
One of the participants and member of the institute Samsudeen Olalekan Balogun, described the event as pleasant, saying that it exposed “our minds to what we should do as employees and bosses in workplaces. I’m optimistic that it would improve the future workplaces. We should strive to be good subordinates. And as good bosses, we’re just being good to ourselves.”