The 'Ducks' at the Top

Bart Perkins is right that "ducks," or underperforming employees, have to be dealt with ["The Duck Project," April 21].

However, he seems to imply that ducks are only found among the rank-and-file workers. There are actually far more ducks in management. And how to get rid of the management ducks? That is a conundrum, since only other managers could do it, and managers tend to protect other managers.

If you think that employee ducks are bad, manager ducks are 10 times worse for the company. And oftentimes, it is manager ducks, not HR, who protect employee ducks. This is especially a problem in the federal government but is rampant in the private sector as well.

If you want to fix the problem, go after the management ducks with a vengeance first. Good companies do exactly that. If you don't take care of the management ducks, nothing else you do will matter.

Avraham Sonenthal

Consultant, network engineering
British Telecom


Copyright © 2008 IDG Communications, Inc.

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