Management

The Middles: Managing When Things At Your Company Are Bad

Covering problems up, whether your company’s or the world’s, isn’t smart. Address them. But don’t push. P. Kim Bui talks managing when things are tough.

P. Kim Bui’s thoughts for new/emerging leaders – on management, work-life balance, self-care and more.

The Middles: Managing When Things At Your Company Are Bad - Lioness MagazineIf you’ve talked to me in recent weeks, I will quote something from “The Hard Thing about Hard Things” by Ben Horowitz. It’s a book for startup CEOs, but I’m finding so much of this applies to my field, journalism, and daily management.

One choice quote: “A healthy company culture encourages people to share bad news. A company that discusses its problems freely and openly can quickly solve them. A company that covers up its problems frustrates everyone involved.”

It has been a really shitty week. I mean really shitty. The world has been shitty, there has been shitty news of every kind.

It means something to manage when things are bad. There’s an art to managing when things at your company are bad. There’s a separate art to managing when the world is bad.

A great read by Lara Hogan tackles this more broadly and there are lots of things you can do for individuals and teams.

The best thing you can do? Create a culture of honesty.

Covering problems up, whether your company’s or the world’s, isn’t smart. Address them. But don’t push. Let people know you’re there, share a tiny piece yourself, and watch the seed grow.

Don’t just do that today. Do it next time we have a bad week. Do it next time some bad news comes to your department. Do it next time you hear your direct report is going through something tough personally.

Seeds take awhile to germinate sometimes, but we have to keep planting or we’ll all starve.

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About the author

P. Kim Bui

P. Kim Bui is the editor-at-large for NowThis News, focusing on original, social reporting and breaking news. Prior to NowThis, she was deputy managing editor for reported.ly, a digital media startup specializing in social journalism. Her career has focused on leading breaking news initiatives and new storytelling forms for local, national and global audiences.

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