Banking and management

Sometimes alcohol was just the cure for it all

… don’t really go hand in hand. The more I think about it, life and my time in banking would have been a lot more pleasant and definitely more enjoyable if it hadn’t been for the odd, strange and controlling managers I worked for. D*£*%&£(%*_£ is the word that would come to mind. I don’t think they were all bad, but I had the (mis)fortune of dealing with the majority of the pains that were out there in the industry.

Now, having never worked in another industry, I can’t attest to how it works elsewhere, but banking managers are anything but… very early in my career, one of my earlier (and till date the best one) managers pulled me aside and said, “hey, you will have a long career in the industry if you remember how to deal with the people here. Remember, all the managers you have in banking will not be great. In fact, it would be fair to say that the good bankers will be the worst managers you will have, but… those are the bankers you will need to track and follow to make sure you learn a lot and more importantly to progress in your career”

And, so with that warning, he was telling me about the necessary evils of banking already. I remembered that throughout my career and lo and behold through the entire 13 years of my banking life, no matter the country, no matter the bank I went to… it held true. The best bankers were the worst managers.

Why were they so bad? Well, to be good, you have to be driven, you have to push limits and you don’t care what people think about it. If it meant trampling over a junior analyst, a lack of consideration, absence of feelings, then so be it. But, that wasn’t it… if that was it, then you could still say things were ok. However, some of them just crossed the line when it came to how they treated their juniors. Bullying, yelling, shouting and just mistreatment of juniors was rampant in the places I worked at… one manager in particular was notorious for making his junior analysts cry… that’s how bad it was.

“Come back to the office and fix these comments or else you will be responsible for the consequences” was one warning I remember from one of my early managers in my first job. It was sent over email at 9p, long after I had left the office and was at home… again, not so bad generally but if you consider that the book he had commented on had been left on his desk that morning at 9a, you get a gist of the kind of person I was dealing with.

To read more about my ‘fun’ adventures and mis-management stories during my time in banking, pick up a copy of The Accidental Banker on Amazon.

Those were my stories – what are your experiences dealing with poor managers?

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