to all the managers and business leaders out there

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Feb 06, 2008 3:58 AM GMT
    I recently got elected President of my fraternity (Delta Sigma Pi). We are a professional business fraternity for men & women with over 205,000 members and 100's of chapters in different universities all over the US, Canada, Mexico and the UK.

    This is my first real leadership position I've taken on, and I've ran into some problems. We function much like a business, so I'm hoping some of the managers here on RJ could give me some advice.

    How do you deal with overly agressive people that think they can do your job better than you can? They start stepping on your toes, and calling you out in front of other colleagues, disrespect you, and respond with an explosive negative attitude to criticism. I feel like there's almost nothing I can do, and this person for the most part, does her job very well. So although when she threatens me with resigning her position I feel tempted to say "PLEASE DO US ALL THE FAVOR!," I know that by doing so, it may bring down chapter morale. Knowing her, she would probably start slandering our name therefore affecting our reputation. Her position deals directly with new recruits and we definitely cannot afford to lose these people as they are the future of this organization.

    This is just one of many problems I've ran into, and I could really use the opinion of someone who has experience with managing people. Thanks guys!
  • ShawnTX

    Posts: 2484

    Feb 06, 2008 4:05 AM GMT
    I've only had two instances of problematic employees. The first I let go and the second I had transferred to another location.

    Barring that, you could always arrange to have her...disappear. icon_twisted.gif
  • ShawnTX

    Posts: 2484

    Feb 06, 2008 4:06 AM GMT
    Oh, and congrats on your Presidency! Maybe there'll be a good President to come out of Texas afterall!
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    Feb 06, 2008 4:18 AM GMT
    If it is possible to have a diplomatic and discreet talk with her wherein you let her know that you value her input, but that challenging your elected position in front of everyone makes her look foolish and undermines your authority. IE, me boss, you not. If she cannot abide by this, then perhaps you will accept her resignation the next time she offers--it might be a blessing in disguise. Don't be afraid to cut your losses. If this person is as bad as you say, others might applaud her leaving and respect you for standing your ground.
    I've also found that Voo Doo is quite effective icon_twisted.gif
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    Feb 06, 2008 4:24 AM GMT
    I agree with Mike.

    Take her aside and tell her that while her experience and input is valuable, she should never try to undermine you in front of other people. Tell her that you will be more than happy to discuss her issues and problems in private, but there is no I in team (although there is a ME!)

    Finally, remember that to be a leader means that others FOLLOW you. Never stoop to her level of unprofessional behaviour and always lead by example. Getting in there and doing the hard work to succeed will speak volumes to your crew. They will respect you and be prepared to accept your decisions without question.

    If all else fails, then cut her loose and get on with the job.

    good luck
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    Feb 06, 2008 4:32 AM GMT
    Form a committee to work with new recruits, include yourself as president (de facto member of all committees) and have the committee take over new recruit duties so as to minimize her power.
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    Feb 06, 2008 4:51 AM GMT
    thanks for the replies guys. really appreciate your input. i'll have a talk to her in private and if this continues then i will have to consider letting her go
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Feb 06, 2008 5:01 AM GMT
    If the talk doesnt work hire Luka Brozzy to make her an offer she can't refuse.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Feb 06, 2008 5:04 AM GMT
    Congratulations!

    I agree with Mike and Cronker.

    One thing you learn quickly in the business world is that NO ONE is indispensable. The truth is that 7 out of 10 applicants can probably do a given job adequately, maybe 1 in 10 is really good, and another 1 in 10 is exceptional.

    If the problem can't be resolved quickly, take action, fix things as best you can, and move on.

    Work hard, keep your dignity and professionalism, and ignore the whiners.


  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Feb 06, 2008 9:31 AM GMT
    Congrats! I could not locate the article from Best Practices, but I dug out this one:

    http://en.allexperts.com/q/Dealing-Employees-1641/promotion-inheriting-difficult-staff.htm
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Feb 06, 2008 10:12 AM GMT
    call her on her issues first. Until you know what is actually griping her you dont know how to deal with it.

    try a softly softly approach first of value her input blah blah blah and mention that her negative attitude is affecting the image and eficiency of the fraternity.

    It could be that even though she didnt get the job you could offer her more discrete responisbility and projects. She probably feels threatened at the second that you feel you can do a better job than her, so try and assure her that working together is the only way that this will work.

    And if that doesnt work spell it out plainly that you were elected to the position by the members that you both represent not her, and that if she feels the organisation should take a different direction then maybe it is not the organisation she should belong to.
  • redheaded_dud...

    Posts: 408

    Feb 07, 2008 3:32 AM GMT
    Didn't see anyone else had mentioned this yet, but give her something to do, and let her "own" it. A project, event, planning session--anything. Don't set her up for failure. She may be trying to "prove" herself to the group. Let her! It will show her that you're not out to get her at the same time. Again, let her own HER duty--not every duty in the group.

    If, by chance, she DOES fall on her face, be there to help her out (but not to bail her out!). Then, even she will see you as the good guy.
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    Feb 07, 2008 3:42 AM GMT
    If this is happening already, you are in trouble, although this group chose you as president so the majority must believe in you. You need to deal with this girl now or she will just pull this kind of stunt throughout the next year.

    I would say talk to her one-on-one about her issues. Be calm when she acts up during meetings. Tell everyone to focus during meetings and be respectful.

    Appoint a sergeant at arms to help you. I'm viewing this as a student organization meeting, not necessarily as a workplace meeting.
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    Feb 07, 2008 3:47 AM GMT
    Same advice re: addressing it with her one-on-one .. oddly enough, she may not even realize that her behavior is unacceptable.

    Also agree that you should give her a project to keep her busy.

    3rd .. and yet unspoken .. institute Roberts Rules of Order...a simplified version for sure. Keeps unnecessary chatter at meetings to a minimum, requires people to have the floor to address the current issue ... while she's waiting for the floor she may cool off and not speak so impulsively. Worked great for my frat when I was VP...
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    Feb 07, 2008 3:54 AM GMT
    I was VP of my Business Fraternity, but we fortunately didn't have the administrative conflicts you're talking about.

    I hate to say it but constructive contention is a lifelong skill to master. Avoidance and the tit-for-tat approach are never constructive, though. There are too many techniques and practices to describe here. But you're 19, so I'm guessing they're going to be covered in some of your future business classes. Good luck!