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How to Guarantee Your Company Will Fail

by Rafaeel Akbar Chaudhry April 21st, 2010 Entrepreneurship, Leaders, Management , , , ,

Pamela Lund recently wrote the following post on her blog. I couldn’t agree more to her. There are some of the mistakes that I did too during my earlier days so thought of sharing these with all our followers and those who are looking forward to establish their own startup.

Do you have a company that you’re tired of running or do you just want to watch your company slowly and painfully die? Follow these steps to ensure you will lose your employees, piss off your clients and end up as WalMart’s only greeter under 65!

  • Hire people because they are your friends, not because they know what they are doing. Your friends will be loyal and it will be really fun working together!
  • Be afraid to fire people who aren’t pulling their weight. Firing people makes them mad and making people mad is so uncool. Not cutting the low performers makes you a cooler boss and everyone will like you more even while they are doing twice as much work as the slacker sitting next to them.
  • Don’t document anything.  It’s better to talk about the same thing over and over again because you can’t remember what you decided last time you talked about it. This will give you the opportunity to talk to your employees more frequently and they love talking about their projects over and over again.
  • Use email as your project management system.  Sending an email to someone ensures they will complete it.  You don’t need any system in place with deadlines, project planning or resource management.
  • Regularly forget to attend meetings that you set up. Your employees like getting together in the conference room and waiting for you for 20 minutes until they decide you aren’t going to show up.  It gives them a chance to chat with each other.  And they probably aren’t that busy anyway so it’s not a big deal.
  • Every few months, freak out and call a bunch of meetings to find out what’s going on. After those meetings, promptly forget everything that you were told.
  • Drastically change priorities regularly. You don’t want your employees getting too comfortable. If they never know what the goal is they will always be on their toes.
  • Don’t measure anything. Trust your gut.  It’s always right and will tell you how those tests would have turned out anyway.
  • Trash talk your employees to other employees.  Rely on that information getting back to them so they improve performance so you don’t have to waste time on performance evaluations.
  • Don’t offer benefits to employees.  Your company is so unique and awesome that people should want to work there for free.
  • Argue with employees in front of their peers. This lets them know you care about their projects.
  • Go around managers and task their employees. Rely on the employees telling their supervisor what they are working on. The managers will be grateful for you giving their underworked staff something to do.
  • Be “too busy” to properly communicate or use tools that everyone else uses to manage projects.
  • Never hire people that are smarter than you. You don’t want them showing you up.
  • Consistently tell your employees how busy you are. They aren’t busy so hearing how busy you are will make them realize how important and smart you are.
  • Have your employees send you lots of reports but don’t bother reading any of them.  Then regularly stop by and ask employees for updates on projects even though the full update is in the reports you ignore.
  • Give vague directives like “follow up on the email I sent last week” and assume your employees know which email you are talking about.  When they ask which email, pretend they are stupid for not knowing what you’re talking about.
  • Be impatient.  Employees are really motivated by you standing over their shoulders while they work. Also, calling them every 30 minutes to find out if something is done makes them more efficient.


Sadly these are all things I have witnessed far too regularly.  I actually did witness them all in one company, which coincidentally isn’t doing so hot.  I’ve done some of these things myself.  But through years of being the low level employee, then being in middle and executive management, and now running a business of my own, I’d like to think I’ve grown and learned a few things.

So take a hard look at yourself and your management style and make sure you’re not a major offender. If you are, you can change. You’ll find that not only will your employees be happier but you’ll be happier with their performance and output. Having good communication with your employees will always result in a better product or service for your clients and a stronger company overall.


3 Responses to “How to Guarantee Your Company Will Fail”

  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by PakStruck, PakStruck and Rafaeel Akbar, EntrepreneursPK. EntrepreneursPK said: Just Now on EntrPk: How to Guarantee Your Company Will Fail by @colraf #Pakistan […]

  2. Zeeshan says:

    can u please tell me the book rafael bhai which you mentioned a must read for entrepreneurs at IEEE LUMS

  3. @Zeeshan: Founders at Work.

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