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Old 03-31-2013, 03:21 PM   #41
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Ultimate responsibility goes with the territory. I have to admit that I would be a terrible manager. As a lone wolf I am much better suited to my field sales job. I like the suggestions above about being a contributor rather than a manager. There are far too many managers that simply rose through the ranks whether they had the skills or apptitude or not. Most have moved on
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Old 03-31-2013, 03:37 PM   #42
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The thing that stuck out for me in the OP is that there should be no surprises, ever.

Employee and manager should be talking regularly and that discussion should include progress on tasks. Every one of my employees are virtual and I know exactly what they're working on and when the important stuff Is due because we talk every week.

And to the person who said your manager takes the credit but dishes the blame...that's a crappy manager. A good leader does the reverse always.
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Old 03-31-2013, 09:49 PM   #43
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I also have no concern over what impact this will have on me as at this time I am pretty in-expendable and generally everyone has got good things to say about me. Lastly I am not FI but I have plenty of "FU money" stashed away if the worst case plays out.
There is a difference between being 'close' to FI, and actually being FI. Until you have sufficient capital accumulated to allow true independence, you would be well advised to 'wear the mask' and play ball, however tedious it may be.

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Multiple higher ups' have been all over this and me ... After the third person had a chat with me, another VP started talking to me about this. I had reached my breaking point
I think this is the real problem. When you forget to include the cover sheet with your T.P.S. report, you don't mind being reminded of it, but there is no need for multiple people to independently do so. Presumably the OP has (only) one boss, and all of the concerns/criticisms/questions should properly have been communicated through that person.
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Old 03-31-2013, 10:21 PM   #44
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When multiple VPs talk to you about problem it is truly serious. So in addition to apologies, you also need a convincing story about how you are going to make sure this never ever happens again. All by Monday good luck.

The wonderful thing about management you have to give credit to your subordinates when something good happens, and take responsibility when they screw up.

The other important lesson to take away, is that dogs offer much better morale support than the E-R forum. But we've all be in the doghouse in our career and many of us have survived and retired early.
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Old 03-31-2013, 11:07 PM   #45
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To accountingsucks: like most other posters, I feel that you have not acquitted yourself well in this matter. As a manager, you are accountable. I believe that you will be lucky to escape being fired over this. If you are not fired, you need to ditch your attitude or get out of management.
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Old 04-01-2013, 02:09 AM   #46
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I may be late to this party, but I suspect that it's hard to convey all the details of a particular MegaCorp and it's internal workings in a brief post. I have worked in companies where the "manager" was responsible for the subordinates and all their work, but the allocation of resources was not controlled by the manager and often specific tasks were doled out through some "matrix management" system, that made the manager responsible for things the manager might not even know the subordinate was working on. I have no idea if any of this applies here and I'm always against the "lose your cool" approach either up or down the organization, but I suspect this situation may not be as clear cut as many responses make it seem. With remote staff, an assignment that is monitored by higher ups directly in touch with the staff not working through the manager, a deadline that was met, and some confusion about status of the task or assistance offered or needed, there seems like a lot that could be investigated to improve performance in the future. If there was a requested deadline, but an unspoken desire to have the work well before that deadline, then that miscommunication is one more item to look at in the postmortem.

Whatever OP decides to do, public outbursts up the management chain are usually not a good idea. You may in the doghouse less for the almost missed deadline, but more for the verbal out of control moment. If it were me, I would be working to mend fences and taking an active, visible role in analyzing what about this situation didn't meet the needs of the company and risk to the potentially expensive deadline so you can champion any changes needed to make sure this works more smoothly in the future. Having a problem and fixing it is good in most companies. Denying a problem that senior managers fret about, even if you are right, isn't usually going to make things any better.

I also got the impression from the original post, that you may be at or near your tolerance level for BS and corporate politics. If you have a way to unwind a little or not let that get to you, it might be easier to understand the other points of view, both from your subordinate and your higher management.
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Old 04-01-2013, 10:07 AM   #47
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I may be late to this party, but I suspect that it's hard to convey all the details of a particular MegaCorp and it's internal workings in a brief post. I have worked in companies where the "manager" was responsible for the subordinates and all their work, but the allocation of resources was not controlled by the manager and often specific tasks were doled out through some "matrix management" system, that made the manager responsible for things the manager might not even know the subordinate was working on. I have no idea if any of this applies here and I'm always against the "lose your cool" approach either up or down the organization, but I suspect this situation may not be as clear cut as many responses make it seem. With remote staff, an assignment that is monitored by higher ups directly in touch with the staff not working through the manager, a deadline that was met, and some confusion about status of the task or assistance offered or needed, there seems like a lot that could be investigated to improve performance in the future. If there was a requested deadline, but an unspoken desire to have the work well before that deadline, then that miscommunication is one more item to look at in the postmortem.

Whatever OP decides to do, public outbursts up the management chain are usually not a good idea. You may in the doghouse less for the almost missed deadline, but more for the verbal out of control moment. If it were me, I would be working to mend fences and taking an active, visible role in analyzing what about this situation didn't meet the needs of the company and risk to the potentially expensive deadline so you can champion any changes needed to make sure this works more smoothly in the future. Having a problem and fixing it is good in most companies. Denying a problem that senior managers fret about, even if you are right, isn't usually going to make things any better.

I also got the impression from the original post, that you may be at or near your tolerance level for BS and corporate politics. If you have a way to unwind a little or not let that get to you, it might be easier to understand the other points of view, both from your subordinate and your higher management.

I have been at mega with the mgmt. structure you mention.... but my direct manager was never on the line for something that they did not manage.... so even though it exists, I do not think it applies to the OP... IOW, since there were many higher ups talking to him about the problem, they must have thought he was responsible...


It is interesting that we have not heard from the OP since the first post... I am hoping we get an update today...
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Old 04-01-2013, 11:26 AM   #48
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When folks on our team at work do a good job, our manager gets the credit and the kudos - not us. If someone on the team screws up, our manager gets blamed. Seems fair.
I have always managed slightly differently I was taught that "I take the blame, they get the credit.".... I have always taken the blame from upper management for anything my subordinates do (although, they have to hear it from me, then and at their reviews). I also give them the credit for a project no matter how much my involvement was.

At the end of the day, a manager will get the credit because their team did well, not because they did well. They are also responsible for all the screw-ups from their team.
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Old 04-01-2013, 11:34 AM   #49
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Just curious, why was upper management so upset if the deadline was met? It sounds like the person did their job and got it done by the deadline. Was management expecting it to be done earlier?
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Old 04-01-2013, 11:39 AM   #50
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It is interesting that we have not heard from the OP since the first post... I am hoping we get an update today...
There are several possible reasons for this, including

1. It is tax season and he is an accountant. Could be just too busy.
2. He has had sober second thoughts and is focusing on remediating the damage.
3. Things have blown up completely at work.

I hope it is a combination of #1 and #2.
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Old 04-01-2013, 12:28 PM   #51
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Just curious, why was upper management so upset if the deadline was met? It sounds like the person did their job and got it done by the deadline. Was management expecting it to be done earlier?
I sort of wonder about that as well. From what the OP described it was a close call rather than an actual problem. It may be that his employer may be a particularly political environment where every little goof up get blown out of proportion.
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Old 04-01-2013, 10:44 PM   #52
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I have always managed slightly differently I was taught that "I take the blame, they get the credit.".... I have always taken the blame from upper management for anything my subordinates do (although, they have to hear it from me, then and at their reviews). I also give them the credit for a project no matter how much my involvement was.

At the end of the day, a manager will get the credit because their team did well, not because they did well. They are also responsible for all the screw-ups from their team.
On reflection, I can see that I worded my original post poorly. What I was trying to say is that the VP gives our manager credit for our work (we serfs are not even a tiny blip on her radar), and she blames our manager when someone on the team screws up. The manager hasn't been around long enough yet for us to know if he will give us credit where credit is due.

Sounds like the people you manage are fortunate to work for you.
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Old 04-01-2013, 10:59 PM   #53
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Just curious, why was upper management so upset if the deadline was met? It sounds like the person did their job and got it done by the deadline. Was management expecting it to be done earlier?
Keep in mind we are hearing only one side of the story. For example, upper management may not felt they gave plenty of lead time so that a close call should not have been an issue. They may not have been assured that the deadline would be made until it was actually made. Which means they may have been losing confidence that the deadline was actually being met, especially if the manager who they assumed was in charge seemed to just be passing the buck. Which sometimes means contingency plans start going into motion, leading to additional time and energy that is now seen as wasted. In addition, the magnitude of what would happen if the deadline was missed may have been great. Bottom line - upper management does not like close calls. And they don't look highly upon folks who cause close calls.
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Old 04-02-2013, 09:51 AM   #54
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[U]pper management may [have] felt they gave plenty of lead time so that a close call should not have been an issue. They may not have been assured that the deadline would be made until it was actually made. Which means they may have been losing confidence that the deadline was actually being met, especially if the manager who they assumed was in charge seemed to just be passing the buck. Which sometimes means contingency plans start going into motion, leading to additional time and energy that is now seen as wasted. In addition, the magnitude of what would happen if the deadline was missed may have been great. Bottom line - upper management does not like close calls. And they don't look highly upon folks who cause close calls.
If the situation was so critical that it is currently causing huge concern even when a deadline was in fact met, the actual function should not have been delegated to a low-level person. One of the multiple VPs - who apparently now have lots of time on their hands - should have stepped up to take charge long before the deadline approached.

The whole (near) fiasco reflects poorly on everyone at the company, including but certainly not restricted to the op (who at least sent the staffer an email before the deadline, asking if she needed assistance).
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Old 04-02-2013, 10:01 AM   #55
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OP, you still out there? How did things go yesterday?
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Old 04-02-2013, 10:12 AM   #56
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The OP's profile indicates he logged off after seeing the first seven responses to his post and hasn't returned since...
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Old 04-02-2013, 10:18 AM   #57
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True but he could still be monitoring the thread even though he isn't logged in.
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Old 04-02-2013, 10:21 AM   #58
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True but he could still be monitoring the thread even though he isn't logged in.
Also true, but if that's the case I think it indicates he's shy about responding to all the input he received and unlikely give us an update...
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Old 04-02-2013, 10:55 AM   #59
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I know posts like the OP are intended to elicit support but there are so many red flags...
As expected...
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Old 04-02-2013, 11:51 AM   #60
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The OP's profile indicates he logged off after seeing the first seven responses to his post and hasn't returned since...
I'm shocked, shocked I tell you!

Ha
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