being the boss

my employee gets drunk on business trips

A reader writes: I need to know the proper way to handle the fact that one of our employees drinks at night while on the road with the crew. Our company pays for the hotel rooms and the guys bunk two to a room. We are getting complaints that one of the guys drinks every […]

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I hired a friend and it’s not going well

A reader writes: Late last year, when my company had some turnover and we needed a high performer in stat, I weighed the pros and cons and hired a friend, “Mike,” who I had previously managed. He and I had brunch and discussed the friendship and work aspect, but ultimately the benefits to the business […]

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I manage someone who’s upset that his employees don’t give him praise and validation

A reader writes: I’m an executive. One of my direct reports (a manager) is frustrated that his team doesn’t acknowledge his input/skills/expertise. It’s as though he wants his team to give him positive feedback and validation. My feeling is that it’s very unlikely to happen. Even great managers wouldn’t hear their team say “thanks for […]

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my employee identifies proudly as a grump

A reader writes: I manage a small team of creative people and we all have different work styles (as defined during a company-wide professional growth workshop.) One team member has so strongly identified with her more aggressive and direct work style that I find she is using it as a crutch to excuse bad behavior […]

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an employee keeps complaining to me about her boss, who I manage

A reader writes: I’ve been the director of my library for about two years now, and there’s one employee who I’m having a really hard time understanding how to manage. Cynthia is managed by Jessica, and I manage Jessica. Cynthia is very type A and holds people to incredibly high standards. This sometimes makes her […]

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I manage a horrible micromanager

A reader writes: I recently accepted a management job at a design firm. My main duty is to oversee the implementation of a large-scope, three-year plan with multiple projects under its umbrella. The plan began before I came onboard, but I was hired specifically to see in through. Each project has a project manager who […]

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my employee interrupts me with unnecessary questions and updates

A reader writes: I am a fairly new accounting supervisor. Most days, I am completely overwhelmed with projects, data requests, and constant deadlines looming overhead. I am trying to work more efficiently by delegating more projects and workload, but I have one employee who comes into my office several times daily to offer “updates” on […]

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my junior employee won’t stop sharing his “expertise”

A reader writes: I run a seven-person government office. One of my direct reports is both not very experienced and not very good at his job, which requires extremely specific legal knowledge and a strong attention to detail. Despite this, he’s got an irritating habit of positioning himself as a subject matter expert around the […]

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