Having a great manager in a bad company is better than having a bad manager in a good company!


By Steve Ramsey, PhD

Okotoks, Alberta 

While I was working in Saudi back in 1992 to 1994 and just before I finished my contract and was going to move back to Vancouver, I met a man with his child and the cut the story short I helped them allot after my working hours because we were booked for more than a week, without knowing who he was just because of that child and the man wasn’t from Saudi and he was visiting his friend before he was going to travel back to a country called Brunei. I was doing Eye ultrasound at that time and working for the Ophthalmology department doing all A- power Doppler, lens power, checking for cataract, choroid and retinal pathology, retinal nerve, and artery Doppler sonography. His child had a small cyst and it was at his eyelid and it wasn’t deep.

The next day the medical director called me and thanked me for staying late after work and ultrasound the child of that man. Then he gave me a gift from that man with a letter and his card. He was from a country called the sultanate of Brunei, a small King dome deep in the south East Asian jungle of Borneo , depended country and used to be under the UK flag to prevent the Japanese from invading deeper to that region.

The man thanked me in the letter and asked me if I want to work in Brunei he will put a good word for me as a reference and asked me to send my Cv to him as I told him that I am going back to Vancouver in few months. So I sent my Cv and my papers to him and forget about it. I was still working and preparing my few boxes and personnel items to be ready to travel back to Canada. I received a letter from that man asking me to call a royal family hospital in BRUNEI so I did and they offered me the best job in my life in one of the greatest country to work for, and stayed for 7 years as a senior sonographer.

I was lucky that our director, our manager and the senior supervisor were good people to work with .They were helpful, working with us and teaching us, and not bossing us around without aim.  Some bad manager will never trust you in fear of you getting their jobs, they can see your strength and potential so they block you from progress and they don’t trust you, they don’t include you or promote you, they keep you in the dark and at distant.

A bad boss can make your feel terrible; they will blame you, and make your life miserable. Unfortunately there are so many of them here in Canada, and the USA specifically in the diagnostic imaging departments.

So remember to do good all the time to other people not because who they are as that man I helped turned to be a junior prince himself. I helped him because they are human been in need of help in that moment and because who am I as a professional trying to help a patient. I respect him as a person, as a patient and as father who was trying to help his crying child.

We leave a place not because we leave our jobs that we love so much but we leave it because we don’t like to work with toxic environment full with problem makers and no solution makers, we leave evil managers and supervisors that are control freak and don’t contribute nothing but the blame and pointing fingers on others for their mistakes.

Mangers and leaders work with you and sick supervisor work against you, the leader tell you where and when drive and go, and those evil managers and supervisors are the drivers, if they do drive along the line of the leader vision and mission they will lead us to success but if they deviates and start driving aimlessly and according to their greed and ambitions they will lead us to disasters and destruction. The owners and share holders must see the red flag by starting to listen to the junior complains and quality control quizzes from the workers and clients, and fire those managers and supervisors who are not tuned with the company value and vision and those who are causing the toxic environment.  

Every one of us at work place have a value , have what it take to be a good human , good worker given a good mentor beside you teach you and not blame you. Left you up and not humiliate you, work with you and not ordering you, listen to you and not scream at you. The more they help you and assist you the more you will give to your client and patient and the more you are helpful and contribute to the successes of the company.

That’s why small company with great boss is a magnet for talent and cheerful positive workers; we see this in many places. What is the use for a great company with stupid bosses who are idiots, arrogant, ignorant? Manipulative, not imaginative, self centre, take bribes and commissions and in rich their pocket books, don’t follow the rules and the company vision, hire their friends and relatives, surrounding them self with people who just listen to them, nose browner, and yes sir workers, rather than smart talented people who can point out the facts and mistakes and give a solution to any given problem.

We must hire managers and supervisors that are willing to work with the staff and listen to the talented workers, we hire those gradates and smart people to tell us and show us not just to sit like a mute and listen to the mangers, otherwise those stupid managers will surround them self with people just watch and listen with nothing to say.

It is very hard to make a loyal employee as they are made by good management good leaders who live up to their words, be a loyal to your workers and they will be loyal to the company. Many of those workers sooner or later will leave the toxic place, the question is when. Every worker has a reason to stay as he / she have bills to pay, to close to work and so on, but the longer they stay the less productive they become and the less caring they will become.

Who cares, I am just a worker and not decision maker mentality will sets in and that will reflect badly on the patients and the quality of work, especially when 90% of Canadian managers are quantity driven, money, money, money so they get more bonuses and they tell the big boss that they did this and that and they have 60% productivity and money making than others etc. They forget or overlook the negative side effect they created and that is how many cases they missed. I alone found 460 missing pathologies in my room alone in 4 years time from other clinics that based their exams on numbers. Not because I don’t miss as everybody misses but we miss more if the time is shorter to do an exam.

The problem as if you don’t like it move is not an easy way to do it as I said many workers have bills to pay and they want to make sure that the next job is not a copy of the one they will leave behind, they consider distant, gas bills, and so many other factors so they be like a tree stuck at the same place. The good boss who provide for the tree like a sunshine and water the tree will be happy prosperous and give great fruit , same as the workers who have support and positive environment they will work harder, contribute and drive the company to success. So I look at any leader, manager and supervisor as a great farmer , the more knowledgeable the farmer with his land, soil, the direction of the sun and the quantity of water given the more he will  be successful  to see a good result.

Many people, companies and clinics those days don’t hire old people! They called them overqualified, they don’t listen, difficult to point and train, and so on. These all are false and fake news, lies usually done by stupid, weak managers who are afraid from other people qualifications and who are managers who want to run the show alone and tell other what to do instead let other talented workers show them how it’s done.

If I am a king, the first order of my busyness will be to round up all the managers and supervisors who contributed to the toxic environment and caused so many harms to the employees and put them in a harsh boot camp until they beg for mercy .Then I give them a broom and ask them to clean the toilet I a public mall for 10 years.

We must hire the managers based on human quality, attitude beside the skills and education, based on the integrity and not their age or gender. We must look for smart, talented, imaginative workers, the dreamers as those can learn the trade and give back more solutions.

The more politics we inject to the work place the more workers will leave. Don’t ever punish loyal workers for telling the truth. I have a friend who told me that he wrote to the college of Alberta to complain about bad clinical practice and they told him that they don’t take this as he must put his name ,address, email and phone number and makes it an official complain ! He didn’t as he was afraid to lose his job. And when he wrote back to sonography Canada in Ontario they told him it is not their problem as he has to write to his provincial counterpart which is the ACDTT, and when he did the ACDTT told him they can’t do anything as they are not legally or yet excepting sonography in the ACDTT they are still working on it for the last 3 years!

So it is very hard to find true great leaders who work around the bureaucracy these days .We are losing great number of our skilled workers back to the USA market, many nurses, and sonographers, MRI technologists fled to UK, USA and Australia. While the waiting list for an MRI in Alberta can reach to 18 months. Or you have to pay 800 dollars for a private exam to be done and you pay from your pocket.

So please before you apply ask who the manager is, Google them, ask about them, don’t ask about what good thing they have dome and many they fake the record on line, so ask about their relationship to the workers get the feedback on the quality versus quantity, and see how many worker left the company and why you can find out from the social media and word of mouth. So you end up working for someone who will celebrate you and who appreciate your loyalty and help you to be the next leader.

Remember that leadership is what it takes to blow the whistle and stand up to speak up and point out the facts and not point fingers, leadership is also what it takes to sit down and listen to your worker, resolve their problem and reduce their stress be part of the solution.

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