Your First Day as a Dark Manager

"Seagull Manager - A manager who flies in, makes a lot of noise, craps on everything, and then leaves." E.g. Fred never accomplishes anything. All he does is come in here every now and then, complain about deadlines, puts more work on us, then goes back to surfing the web. He's such a seagull manager ~ Urban Dictionary

If you're a good manager, you'd want to get to know the people first. Understand their personalities; and put them where they perform best. Hear them out as they provide you with a series of improvements that they'd like you to bring forward now that you're the boss. Since you've decided to be on the dark side, you first order of business however; is to fly in.

First Day Principle 1 - Make yourself look good.
Essentially, you'd want your predecessor to look so bad the CEO will give you an increment before the month is over. So flying in means immediately targeting the no.1 KPI that will make you a Godsend. From this point onwards, I’d like to introduce you to an IT Support Manager that has a triple black belt in the Dark Arts; and while we’re at it, let’s move on to Principle 2.

First Day Principle 2 – Make the Team Focus on your Goal (even if it’s stupid...)
The IT Support Manager achieved this by having the team provide incident status reports 4 times a day (9am, 1230pm, 3pm & 5pm) The idea is to ground in a sense of “creative urgency”, making them sweat as they pay homage to you in the form of these reports. Secondly, it doesn’t matter if the reports eat into the time that could have been used to close the incidents. If they do complain, always quote something like “You can’t improve what you can’t measure”.

First Day Principle 3 – Keep the Team Busy
Before long, the team would have figured out an automated way of providing the report. Unfortunately, that’s not what you want. You want the team to be in state of perpetual disarray and to live and breathe the incidents. For example, if they’ve come up with a website, tell them to port it to Excel and print it out in hardcopy. Once they’ve done it in Excel, make them do it Word, with headers, company logo and all. One more thing, make sure it comes with a Power point presentation as well. You never know when you’ll need to present the spiffy reports to the CEO.

First Day Principle 4 – If there’s really a Problem, Hide it.
So now that the team is focusing on making the Manager look good. The incidents pile up further, by virtue of having the data in the reports and factoring that the team is only 10 men strong; there’s just no possible way to close 2067 incidents within the day. So you do what comes naturally; instruct the team to issue a SQL statement that will close all incidents from the backend.

First Day Principle 5 – Pick the Best Team Member, and load him up with the most amount of work.
Naturally, he’s the one that will be running the SQL Statement too. In the event that users start to balk and escalate to upper management that there’s unlawful closure of incidents; always claim amnesia (Another topic). Anyhow, the best person should always receive the most amount of work because you can only trust 1 person at most. It keeps the manager from having to remember too many names and phone book entries are a scarcity after all. More importantly, human nature dictates that not all 2067 will call back to reopen the case, if you’re lucky only 30% will.

First Day Principle 6 – Explain to your no.1 man, Principle 1.
There’s nothing like a good 1 on 1 session to drive home the point that an employee’s role is to make the boss look good. It’s what we call bonding with the new boss.

Now that you have team in motion, more productive than it has ever been, you should go home at 5pm sharp. Lastly, make it a habit to send a sms at 8pm for the 5th report, just to test the team.

Image to the Dark Practitioner

Image is everything to the dark practitioner. You have to look the act and talk the walk. Here's a few items in your cheat sheet.

The Look & Demeanor
  • Wear a shirt with a cuffling if you're a man (no cheap plastic ones). For a lady always wear a power suit. Get a proper heavy silk tie, and make sure you change them daily. Don't wear the same tie twice a week.
  • Never ever wear a short sleeve shirt unless you have burly hairy arms with a righteous scar on it.
  • Keep your shoes cleaned, preferably shiny.
  • Speak with even tones but place emphasis on key words. Manage a baritone.
  • Make no sudden jerky movements, walk and move your hands with deliberate slowness. If even if you need to be in a hurry, space out your steps, but don't walk too fast that it's jerky. Think soar like an eagle.
  • Wear a noticeable watch, its a good subject matter.
  • Don't keep items in your pockets, especially in your pants as the bulginess make you look like a clown.
  • Keep your face spotless, go to an executive facial, no eyebags or dark circles please. You must always look fresh.
  • Keep a smile on your face at all times.
  • When you talk to people, learn forward, keep eye contact and looked paternally concerned.
  • Do not make any dumb jokes.
The Presentation
  • If you don't know something, end a question with a question.
  • Always interrupt a conversation with "If I may..."
  • Quote a passage from a well known business book. The more learned you sound, the more people think that you are actually smart.
  • Always present good news. Never ever present bad news. Nobody likes a whiner.
  • The thickness of any report is proportionate to the value of the project. e.g if 100K is 10 pages then 1mil should be 100 pages
Meeting the CEO
  • Always carry a pile of power point slides and paper when you meet the CEO. Never go there empty handed.
  • Always have an interesting anecdote or story to tell
  • Always have good news and achievements.

Welcome to the Dark Arts

I've been working for 10 years now, at the writing of this first blog. Throughout the years, I've seen many a malicious acts and no more so when realities are far worst than what is reported. The further detached the truth is, the more compounded these acts become.

Hopefully, you will be able to see beyond the dark arts and become a better manager, or like me revel, in the observations and relishing every moment of committing these acts online. Do I judge? Probably; for I am only human, but I have learned that judgment should be reserved until the act is complete.

How so? For when the perpetrator has reached his or her goals, then the story would be whole, and the seeds that has been sowed, reaped for all its rotten husk.