Simple Sabotage by Managers

15 Ways Managers Actively Sabotage Workplace Culture is an article by Forbes written on January 20, 2022.

The Simple Sabotage Field Manual was originally published by the United States Office of Strategic Services (now the Central Intelligence Agency) in 1944, for use by agents in motivating or recruiting potential foreign saboteurs. Agents were granted permission to print and circulate pieces of the document as needed. The now declassified manual provides instructions for undermining progress and productivity by non-violent and unnoticed means. Sections of it relate directly to the business world and are eerily consistent with things that are happening in businesses today. One of those sections tells how managers and supervisors can sabotage the workplace.

Upon looking at each list provided in these two different sources spanning 78 years apart, it is interesting to see the similarities. The Forbes article provides 15 ways managers sabotage company culture and the Simple Sabotage Field Manual provides 14 ways managers can sabotage the workplace so we were able to make a fair comparison. Here are the similarities between the two sources:

Upon reading the list, did you find that some of these things sound familiar in your company? We encourage you to follow the links for both sources and read the entire lists! Simple sabotage could be happening without intentional ill-will. It might just be happening due to people in your organization lacking self-awareness along with not being aware of others. It could be happening due to bad habits that have gone unchecked for a long time. It could be both of these things and many other leadership issues.

“The more things change, the more they stay the same” is a quote from 1849 by French writer, Jean-Baptiste Alphonse Karr. Quick research shows similar yet different meanings of this quote. In business, it can mean that unless leaders first accept that change needs to happen and embrace foundational change that starts with them, all the efforts to improve are ultimately fruitless.

We talk a lot about all the ways managers can improve – and that’s a good thing. In this Simple Sabotage Series, we are taking a different approach and flipping the script to talk about ways organizations can be sabotaged by managers. Simple, persistent behaviors and habits can cause progress to be sabotaged when organizations are unaware of the problems that exist in the first place. We believe if you first know your nemesis, you can combat it with the proper tools.

CLG helps companies get clear about their vision, mission, goals, strategy, structure, and people. We help organizations see things that may be sabotaging progress. Contact us today to address simple sabotage in your company and get on the road to success. Follow this content throughout the month of October as we continue to talk about organizational sabotage.

Do you like the Simple Sabotage concept? Check out last month’s blog about Simple Sabotage of Organizations and stay tuned for the next two months as we explore simple sabotage relating to employees then morale and confusion through our blogs and marketing emails. Click here to subscribe.

-Melissa Spangler

Take Assessment
Cookie Notice

This site uses technical and analytical cookies to ensure we give you the best experience on our website. Privacy Policy