PULLING RANK

UFOinsider's picture
Rank: Human | 15,575

Pulling rank at work. how do you do it, how does your boss do it, and what's the best way?

Speaking for myself, my dad was a Marine DI and thoroughly ingrained in us the concept of RHIP: Rank Has It's Privelages. I've never had a problem doing what I'm supposed to at work, and really pity the people who come in and expect to be 'respected' after a few weeks. Basically, welcome to the machine, do your job, hopefully it gets better.

The fact that my group has very flat management and I work directly with an MD on a day to day basis reinforces this for me, but we're expanding and I'm one of a few people that aren't jumping ship so we're expected to 'manage things' now (code word for do more work for the same pay). If I get the impression I'm being used, I'll be OUT of here for sure, but I'm going to stick around for a few more months to see if there really is an opportunity. Here's my situation:

a lot of times, your boss is a phenominal dick simply because they can be, but pissing off your entire office is a bad idea. So, I try to be as egalitarian as I can. I like being respected and give that same respect to people. Unfortunately, it's not being reciprocated, and I'm pissed. Really pissed. I'm third year and likely staying here for a while, and I have to get used to telling the new people what to do. Some of these kids can't even work a fax machine, so they really are in no position to question everything I say. I'm tired of being challenged on every point by someone who's been here a short while but I can't fire them or even discipline them in any way. I have responsibility with no actual power to enforce it. Or maybe I do and don't realize it? When I was a bartender, I had no problem kicking someone's ass or calling in bigger dudes from the back to take care of a problem, but this is different because we're creating a heirarchy in a corporate environment and I have no experience dealing with this shit on professional terms.

It seems that they're already mistaking kindness for weakness so I'm considering just dumping a huge pile of work on them at the end of today to reinforce the fact that I can't justify every task with a huge explanation, there isn't time and they need to make an effort to figure things out. I am resorting to this because, well, that's what people have always done to me and I'm pissed off. The message is "Do this because I tell you to or it's your ass on the line tomorrow morning. This is your job." Is there a better way?

Comments (56)

Feb 1, 2012

Don't take this the wrong way, but you sound like an Analyst who's been given a little more responsibility and it's gone to your head. I know the feeling and it can be frustrating. You have to remember that you're not the MD, you're still an Analyst. Getting pissed off and making rash decisions that will annoy the other Analysts isn't going to help the situation. Pull the kid aside and talk to him like an adult.

Feb 1, 2012
XPJ:

Don't take this the wrong way, but you sound like an Analyst who's been given a little more responsibility and it's gone to your head. I know the feeling and it can be frustrating. You have to remember that you're not the MD, you're still an Analyst. Getting pissed off and making rash decisions that will annoy the other Analysts isn't going to help the situation. Pull the kid aside and talk to him like an adult.

Shut the fuck up man.

Dump a load of work on they young guys.

Follow the shit your fellow monkeys say @shitWSOsays

Life is hard, it's even harder when you're stupid - John Wayne

    • 1
Feb 1, 2012
heister:
XPJ:

Don't take this the wrong way, but you sound like an Analyst who's been given a little more responsibility and it's gone to your head. I know the feeling and it can be frustrating. You have to remember that you're not the MD, you're still an Analyst. Getting pissed off and making rash decisions that will annoy the other Analysts isn't going to help the situation. Pull the kid aside and talk to him like an adult.

Shut the fuck up man.

Dump a load of work on they young guys.

I agree with heister if you're trying to be the immature douchebag of the office. I agree with Relinquis if you want to be successful in any industry.

Best Response
Feb 1, 2012

Don't ever use this line unless you really are prepared to send them packing, if they call your bluff they'll never take you seriously...

[...] or it's your ass on the line tomorrow morning. [...]

There is no upside for saying something like that. It's entirely about you and your ego and has little to do with getting the job done, establishing an organisational culture or managing a team. Threats don't work in environments where you will need to rely on your employees to give a f*ck at some point. There's some research on this, but I would need time to dig it up...

There are other leadership styles apart from being authoritarian
Try getting them to achieve objectives that you set i.e. dump some real work on them and give them a tough deadline for deliverables, then review their work with some sandwich criticism (good point, critical point/room for improvement, good point). This achieves the following:
- It puts them in the role of doing work that will drive your unit's performance
- Gives them measurable targets and empowers them to some extent (much like giving students a deadline for an assignment that they have to figure out how to do)
- Establishes your position of authority in a non-confrontational way. i.e. you assign work/tasks and you review result / provide feedback (can turn this into a mentor-ship type role in the future, if you're so inclined)
- Gives you a justification to say "you have to do better on X & Y... you dropped the ball on this son... Do this. It is your job" and such.

Edit: If you do this right and have the requisite seniority and relationship with the MD, you essentially become the "staffer".

    • 2
Feb 1, 2012
Relinquis:

There's some research on this, but I would need time to dig it up...

There are other leadership styles apart from being authoritarian

You're absolutely right, and I'm reading up and asking around....hence the post here :)

As far as being authoritarian...it works very well and is extremely efficient. That's not my role, but that's all I know. So, I thank you for your input.

Just so we don't get off topic, my honest inclination is to punch the dude in the face and then repeat the instructions. I have no issue with being weak, I'm just trying to avoid being a psycho. My parents and past bosses were out of their minds and I'd like to think there's a better way of living and working.

Feb 1, 2012

this is why you need to hire analysts from targets. they really know how to lick some boot.

Feb 1, 2012

@ XPJ: Part of what you say is true: I'm not at all important in the big picture, so I definitely see what you're saying. I'm coming across as arrogant, but in reality I'm just very frustrated and realizing that I'm talking to a subordinate like an equal. Truth be told, in a few months I WILL have the authority to fire them and I just don't want to. Maybe make an example out of them?

The other half of this is that I'm getting pushback from someone who has absolutely no idea what they're talking and I'm tired of going over things that they should be doing and justifying it. The only time something gets done is when I micromanage every detail and at that point I'm not doing my stuff. Plus, they should know what they're doing by now. I honestly believe that the second I stop covering from them, they will be fired or at least be formally reprimanded. I've tried talking to them already and they yes me to death and then go right back to trying to weasel out of doing any work. They come in late, they leave early, and I have to double check everything they do because a lot of their work is so half assed I end up redoing it. The only real option that I'm left with is to talk to the more senior people and find out why someone who can't even do basic things is questioning why everything is done. It's like they don't want to be here and are just trying to push off the work onto me and the other new kids. I suspect they think they're going to cruise through their two years and hit up exit ops, but there's no way I'm dealing with this for another 18 months.

Seriously, I need help: we're hiring 2 to 4 more people in the next 8-14 months and I need to learn how to put someone in their place without being to drastic. I don't make any unreasonable requests, but the ass has asked me to 'do it myself' and it kind of defeats the purpose of me having to assign work and then do MY job and then theirs. I can handle one thorn in my side but no way I can deal with more than that and get my shit done. Maybe I'm just not enough of a dick?

The other thing is this: I came in as a 2nd year, so I'm literally months away from associate, and I'm just not familiar with what happens now.

Feb 1, 2012
UFOinsider:

@ XPJ: Part of what you say is true: I'm not at all important in the big picture, so I definitely see what you're saying. I'm coming across as arrogant, but in reality I'm just very frustrated and realizing that I'm talking to a subordinate like an equal. Truth be told, in a few months I WILL have the authority to fire them and I just don't want to. Maybe make an example out of them?

The other half of this is that I'm getting pushback from someone who has absolutely no idea what they're talking and I'm tired of going over things that they should be doing and justifying it. The only time something gets done is when I micromanage every detail and at that point I'm not doing my stuff. Plus, they should know what they're doing by now. I honestly believe that the second I stop covering from them, they will be fired or at least be formally reprimanded. I've tried talking to them already and they yes me to death and then go right back to trying to weasel out of doing any work. They come in late, they leave early, and I have to double check everything they do because a lot of their work is so half assed I end up redoing it. The only real option that I'm left with is to talk to the more senior people and find out why someone who can't even do basic things is questioning why everything is done. It's like they don't want to be here and are just trying to push off the work onto me and the other new kids. I suspect they think they're going to cruise through their two years and hit up exit ops, but there's no way I'm dealing with this for another 18 months.

Seriously, I need help: we're hiring 2 to 4 more people in the next 8-14 months and I need to learn how to put someone in their place without being to drastic. I don't make any unreasonable requests, but the ass has asked me to 'do it myself' and it kind of defeats the purpose of me having to assign work and then do MY job and then theirs. I can handle one thorn in my side but no way I can deal with more than that and get my shit done. Maybe I'm just not enough of a dick?

The other thing is this: I came in as a 2nd year, so I'm literally months away from associate, and I'm just not familiar with what happens now.

This analyst sounds like a dick. I came into my BO role with absolutely no idea what I was doing- I listened to every damn thing the 2 senior analysts on my team told me as if they were my manager. I ended up learning how to be pretty good at my (admittedly simple) job. I read somewhere that it takes 8 full months to become a productive employee in a non manual labor role. Until then you are just a drain on your team's resources. He need to realize that he isn't doing anyone (including himself) any favors by making things more difficult than they should be.

Also, where do I send my resume?

Feb 1, 2012

UFO, what do you do these days? I remember a while ago you were in the BO...have you moved over the FO now?

Feb 1, 2012
manbearpig:

UFO, what do you do these days? I remember a while ago you were in the BO...have you moved over the FO now?

MM product group on brokerage side. Everyone does everything: sales, marketing, field calls, execute trades, know about products, operations crap, literally everything. The group head obviously doesn't do grunt work, but even VPs will sit in on calls with BOs at other companies for weird cases/fuckups. The base salaries FUCKING SUCK (I'm not exaggerating...) but the senior people (associate director and up) make a killing working 9-5, light travel. For resume/networking purposes, I play up the sales and marketing work, and when I apply to BBs I play up the MO work. My primary interest is actually going to bschool, so I'm not too concerned with making money now if I'm better positioned for the future, but making enough to move to NYC and ditch my side jobs (which are draining the life out of me) would be really nice. If I don't get promoted, I almost have to jump ship to make the case to grad programs that I'm a good candidate based on variety of experience v progression.

That's why this is a big deal to me.

Feb 1, 2012

@UFO...

The situation you describe in your 2nd post is a lot different from what I thought the situation was after reading the original post. Originally, it sounded as though the new Analysts were asking a lot of questions, maybe weren't caught up to speed quite yet, and you wanted to "show them who's boss" by dumping a bunch of dumb, meaningless shit on them. It's a completely different story if they're screwing up work, coming in late, leaving early, telling you to "do it yourself", etc.

Part of the problem (and this happens everywhere) is that the other Analyst perceives you as an equal, not their boss. Perhaps this is because your boss hasn't made it absolutely clear that, while both you and the other Analysts are both "Analysts", he still reports to you. I really don't know the full situation. But, if you think you've done what you can to help them and they're still fucking around, it's time to let them go. There's plenty of kids you can find who would be happy to bust their ass. Is there an Associate or VP that you can discuss with, without going straight to the MD?

Feb 1, 2012
XPJ:

Is there an Associate or VP that you can discuss with, without going straight to the MD?

I think they're aware of the problem and want to see what I do. I wish I had some say over hiring but it's taken care of already. Personally, I'd bring a bunch of kids from my alma mater...non targ kids would be happy to have a job instead of being pissed that they didn't get GS TMT. Or maybe I'm wrong on that?

Feb 1, 2012
UFOinsider:
XPJ:

Is there an Associate or VP that you can discuss with, without going straight to the MD?

I think they're aware of the problem and want to see what I do. I wish I had some say over hiring but it's taken care of already. Personally, I'd bring a bunch of kids from my alma mater...non targ kids would be happy to have a job instead of being pissed that they didn't get GS TMT. Or maybe I'm wrong on that?

You did well by taking a job instead of staying in ER and day dreaming.

What's your side job?

No one would remember the Good Samaritan if he'd only had good intentions; he had money as well.

Feb 1, 2012

I had no idea you moved over from ER, UFO.

Feb 1, 2012
A Posse Ad Esse:

I had no idea you moved over from ER, UFO.

ER intern -> slave job -> product internal sales group -> ???

ER was indefinite and unpaid, so I took the first full time job that came along because I need to live. In retrospect, maybe would have done things differently, but oh well, whaddyagointado.

Feb 1, 2012

Is it just one guy or the whole group acting this way?

Feb 1, 2012
Bobb:

Is it just one guy or the whole group acting this way?

One person and the most recent hire is starting to step up, so I have to reign this in quick. I kind of just snapped to attention over the last few days and realized I have to change my thinking. MBA programs teach this stuff but I can't very well take advantage of that right now.

The post is worded a little strongly, but I figured that advice here would be usefull to people that have to learn to manage larger teams of 15 or 20 people. If nothing happens this year, so be it, I'll move on, but I'd like to eventually join the big boy club and I guess I just realized that I have a good employee mindset but now have to start thinking beyond that.

But I'm definitely not letting a couple of 20 year old assholes get in my way.

Feb 1, 2012

God, this makes me long for the days when I was back in commodities.

HR would screen a bunch of people I was allowed to hire to assist me. I would then hire who I wanted, and pay them out of my own pocket.

That meant when they fucked up or acted the least bit entitled I got to have an EPIC Ari Gold "GET THE FUCK OUT" moment in front of the whole office. I always hired kids from target schools, not for their education, skill set, or connections, but for the look of utter dismay on their faces as they slunk out of the office after some kid who barely graduated high school tossed their dumb ass.

    • 1
Feb 1, 2012
Edmundo Braverman:

That meant when they fucked up or acted the least bit entitled I got to have an EPIC Ari Gold "GET THE FUCK OUT" moment in front of the whole office. I always hired kids from target schools, not for their education, skill set, or connections, but for the look of utter dismay on their faces as they slunk out of the office after some kid who barely graduated high school tossed their dumb ass.

this is fucking fantastic. I've always wanted to work for a boss like this, as backward as that sounds.

Feb 1, 2012
Edmundo Braverman:

God, this makes me long for the days when I was back in commodities.

HR would screen a bunch of people I was allowed to hire to assist me. I would then hire who I wanted, and pay them out of my own pocket.

That meant when they fucked up or acted the least bit entitled I got to have an EPIC Ari Gold "GET THE FUCK OUT" moment in front of the whole office. I always hired kids from target schools, not for their education, skill set, or connections, but for the look of utter dismay on their faces as they slunk out of the office after some kid who barely graduated high school tossed their dumb ass.

This kind of set-up is important. If you have no hiring or firing power, people likely aren't going to give you the respect you deserve (or desire), because the bottom line is if you're mad, who cares? You can't do anything about it. You can be an authoritarian or an egalitarian, or whatever. Irrelevant. No one cares. They will allocate their time to please those that can hire / fire / pay them at your expense.

The problem with your situation is your bosses have cut you off at the knees. Ideally they would give you some real authority or relegate you to just crunching numbers with the rest of the analysts.

Feb 2, 2012
Edmundo Braverman:

God, this makes me long for the days when I was back in commodities.

HR would screen a bunch of people I was allowed to hire to assist me. I would then hire who I wanted, and pay them out of my own pocket.

That meant when they fucked up or acted the least bit entitled I got to have an EPIC Ari Gold "GET THE FUCK OUT" moment in front of the whole office. I always hired kids from target schools, not for their education, skill set, or connections, but for the look of utter dismay on their faces as they slunk out of the office after some kid who barely graduated high school tossed their dumb ass.

you sir, might just be my hero.

Feb 1, 2012

Take them aside, conference room or something, and yell at them. If they give you lip, channel that anger and let them have it. But be specific - there's a difference between just being an asshole and being an asshole for a reason - tell them exactly how they f'ed up and how that affected the team. Or why they should do this or that. And don't make empty threats (that just makes you look weak when you don't carry through). Once they realize that you're going to bring on the heat every time they get lazy, they'll start changing. Also learn to embrace the awkwardness after you've chewed some one out. You don't have to be their friend.

And try to figure out what levers you can pull. In the military I could cut guys' weekend passes, or "volunteer" them off to some random bunker fifty miles away to do some annoying assignment. There's got to be something similar to that in banking too. Don't just dump it on them though, tell them "I want you to do this because you consistently embarrass the team with your mistakes on xyz deliverable and I don't always have the time to fix it. Finish this before you leave tonight and we'll go over it together."

On the flip side though, you need carrots too. At the end of the day they're your teammates. If you want to pull rank, you need to step it up like you have rank. That means that you need to add value to their lives too, whether its taking responsibility for their mistakes before smoking them in the conference room, or showing that you have your s#%t together and that you can help them get out of the office earlier or more painlessly. If you want to dump some work on their desk, you can, but you have to stick around to supervise. You could also work something out where your associate plays the "enemy" for a while, have the guy go bring stuff directly to the associate and have the associate give him a lot of grief. And you reluctantly swoop in and sort him out.

But worst case scenario, if you don't see improvement, then document it over a while and then send it up the chain of command. Not everyone deserves to have a job.

Feb 1, 2012
waterboy:

On the flip side though, you need carrots too. At the end of the day they're your teammates. If you want to pull rank, you need to step it up like you have rank. That means that you need to add value to their lives too, whether its taking responsibility for their mistakes before smoking them in the conference room, or showing that you have your s#%t together and that you can help them get out of the office earlier or more painlessly. If you want to dump some work on their desk, you can, but you have to stick around to supervise. You could also work something out where your associate plays the "enemy" for a while, have the guy go bring stuff directly to the associate and have the associate give him a lot of grief. And you reluctantly swoop in and sort him out.

This is on point. The associates I respect the most and work hardest for are the ones that lead by example - they don't just push all the shit work they don't want to do on me, they stay just as long or longer, they don't create (much) bullshit work solely to impress the VP, they're not "under" jumping into an Excel file and making minor changes. Their interest is in completing the task as a team so that we both can go home.

Feb 1, 2012
bonobochimp:
waterboy:

On the flip side though, you need carrots too. At the end of the day they're your teammates. If you want to pull rank, you need to step it up like you have rank. That means that you need to add value to their lives too, whether its taking responsibility for their mistakes before smoking them in the conference room, or showing that you have your s#%t together and that you can help them get out of the office earlier or more painlessly. If you want to dump some work on their desk, you can, but you have to stick around to supervise. You could also work something out where your associate plays the "enemy" for a while, have the guy go bring stuff directly to the associate and have the associate give him a lot of grief. And you reluctantly swoop in and sort him out.

This is on point. The associates I respect the most and work hardest for are the ones that lead by example - they don't just push all the shit work they don't want to do on me, they stay just as long or longer, they don't create (much) bullshit work solely to impress the VP, they're not "under" jumping into an Excel file and making minor changes. Their interest is in completing the task as a team so that we both can go home.

Would you recommend taking them out boozing or is this too much?

Feb 1, 2012

I basically set the tone of what is expected out of a new entry-level analyst during the interview process. I outline exactly what a new-hire would be required to know and accomplish in a 3/6/9/12 month timeline. I take this doc and stick it to the new-hire's cubicle wall. I also tell the new guy he can ask me dumb questions within the first 3 months because he willl be clue-less, and that I would be very concerned if he didnt (this includes how to work a fax machine). In the rare event that I have an analyst who just doesnt get it, I talk to him in private and tell them exactly what the issue is and how to remedy it. I make it clear that I am obligated to give them mentorship, the firm is obligated to give them money, and all we ask for is honest work in return.

It irritates me that some of you find the "Ari Gold - Douche God Boss" approach to management appropriate. You sad fucks probably had the unfortunate experience of being abused by your employers and you've been conditioned to think that that's just the way it is, or you watch too much Entourage. Now you reciprocate the cycle of stupidity by treating your subordinates poorly. Expect your career to flush like a turd of mediocrtiy down the toilet bowl that is the financial services industry.

@ OP - My advice to you is to walk into your MD's office and tell him you are simply not prepared to manage people, because that's the truth. You'll save a lot of peoples' time doing this. Your employees cant figure out a fax machine? Well then hire kids who can, pal.

    • 2
Feb 1, 2012
RE Capital Markets:

I basically set the tone of what is expected out of a new entry-level analyst during the interview process. I outline exactly what a new-hire would be required to know and accomplish in a 3/6/9/12 month timeline. I take this doc and stick it to the new-hire's cubicle wall. I also tell the new guy he can ask me dumb questions within the first 3 months because he willl be clue-less, and that I would be very concerned if he didnt (this includes how to work a fax machine). In the rare event that I have an analyst who just doesnt get it, I talk to him in private and tell them exactly what the issue is and how to remedy it. I make it clear that I am obligated to give them mentorship, the firm is obligated to give them money, and all we ask for is honest work in return.

It irritates me that some of you find the "Ari Gold - Douche God Boss" approach to management appropriate. You sad fucks probably had the unfortunate experience of being abused by your employers and you've been conditioned to think that that's just the way it is, or you watch too much Entourage. Now you reciprocate the cycle of stupidity by treating your subordinates poorly. Expect your career to flush like a turd of mediocrtiy down the toilet bowl that is the financial services industry.

@ OP - My advice to you is to walk into your MD's office and tell him you are simply not prepared to manage people, because that's the truth. You'll save a lot of peoples' time doing this. Your employees cant figure out a fax machine? Well then hire kids who can, pal.

You are correct in some points however that only works when the boss has an obvious position of authority. It does not work well when a younger boss who is close to the same age as his underlings or with older employees. You have to take the punch them in the face approach. This industry is highly compettive if you can't take the abuse GTFO. The truth of the matter is that we are surrounded by so many highly motivated people that we often assume that is how the rest of the world is. I'll make this short, it is not that way at all. I have too many employees that are total fucking morons and you have to ride their ass every hour of every day for them to do their jobs. No one wants to be the "Ari Gold" type of boss but the fact of the matter is that the majority respond best to this type of personality.

Follow the shit your fellow monkeys say @shitWSOsays

Life is hard, it's even harder when you're stupid - John Wayne

Feb 1, 2012
RE Capital Markets:

"Ari Gold - Douche God Boss"

That's exactly what I'm trying to avoid because it goes against the culture of the company I'm at. If shit hits the fan, yeah, people are yelling and screaming, but there's no reason for it all the time here. Worse still is the person that acts like this and can't follow through on the empty threats: dumping on someone's desk and dropping a line that soandso is working on it is one thing, but whining and screaming and then having to carry on the next day definitely won't fly.

I'm getting the impression based on all of the posts that I really just need to get a good night's sleep, hit the gym, and be a bit more assertive. I'll talk to the one guy one last time and after the next fuckup, make sure to have a senior person in the room when I put him in line. The common theme really seems to be that I need to focus on specific issues and not do the "dude, you seriously need to improve your work ethic" kind of talk.

Thanks guys.

Feb 1, 2012
RE Capital Markets:

I basically set the tone of what is expected out of a new entry-level analyst during the interview process. I outline exactly what a new-hire would be required to know and accomplish in a 3/6/9/12 month timeline. I take this doc and stick it to the new-hire's cubicle wall. I also tell the new guy he can ask me dumb questions within the first 3 months because he willl be clue-less, and that I would be very concerned if he didnt (this includes how to work a fax machine). In the rare event that I have an analyst who just doesnt get it, I talk to him in private and tell them exactly what the issue is and how to remedy it. I make it clear that I am obligated to give them mentorship, the firm is obligated to give them money, and all we ask for is honest work in return.

It irritates me that some of you find the "Ari Gold - Douche God Boss" approach to management appropriate. You sad fucks probably had the unfortunate experience of being abused by your employers and you've been conditioned to think that that's just the way it is, or you watch too much Entourage. Now you reciprocate the cycle of stupidity by treating your subordinates poorly. Expect your career to flush like a turd of mediocrtiy down the toilet bowl that is the financial services industry.

@ OP - My advice to you is to walk into your MD's office and tell him you are simply not prepared to manage people, because that's the truth. You'll save a lot of peoples' time doing this. Your employees cant figure out a fax machine? Well then hire kids who can, pal.

HBS material in my opinion... SB for you... It's a failure in your leadership if you chew someone out without having set clear expectations of performance beforehand.

UFOinsider, did you say you wanted to go to business school?

Relevant essay question you would have to answer from this year's Wharton MBA application
Discuss a time when you faced a challenging interpersonal experience. How did you navigate the situation and what did you learn from it? (600 words)

Relevant question your references would have to answer for your Wharton MBA application:
Please provide an example of a time when the applicant was particularly successful at interacting with others in a team (employees, peers, managers, etc.); how was the applicant successful? How does the applicant compare to his/her peers in this dimension?

    • 1
Feb 1, 2012

People suggesting that OP give the kid the hairdryer treatment probably aren't at BBs or large funds. At my firm, if anyone besides an MD (or a ridiculously successful director) tried the "Ari Gold approach", they'd get themselves in more trouble than the person being yelled at. Some of you might call it pussification of WS, but it's the truth.

If you're not an MD, the best approach is to make it clear you're disappointed in a firm manner (sometimes, well chosen words can sting more than yelling). Most analysts are competitive enough to never want to let anyone down, and will get their shit together. If they're still showing attitude, I'd just wash my hands off them and let them sink.

Feb 1, 2012

You guys bashing the Ari Gold approach are gonna love this story.

I had a really talented trading assistant once. I mean, this kid was AWESOME. He was a closer in his own right, and made me more money than probably ever other assistant I ever had COMBINED. That said, he knew he was good and therefore I had to spend a good deal of time keeping him in his place.

His talents didn't escape the notice of the other guys in the office, and after a while they mounted a pretty aggressive effort to hire him away from me. He came to me at one point and said, "Bro, they really want me to leave you and come work for them. They're promising me all kinds of stuff I'm not getting from you. I don't want to go work for them, but if you can't at least match what they're offering I have to do it."

He was pretty surprised when I just smiled and told him I'd miss him. Then I explained to him that the guys trying to lure him away made nowhere near the money I made and it wouldn't be long before they started shorting his pay. He told me I didn't know what I was talking about, and he went to work for this other guy.

I used to fuck with him in the office because his boss wasn't throwing up numbers like mine, and the numbers I was throwing up were a direct result of HIS efforts (which I no longer had to pay him for). Then his new boss struggled to pay him, so his new boss started pimping him out to other guys. Before he knew it, he was assisting five guys in the office for the same money I was paying him to just assist me.

He finally came to me and told me how badly he'd fucked up. Of course, I was understanding.

I made him get up in the morning meeting, get down on his knees, and in front of everyone beg me, "Please daddy, I want to come home. I fucked up and now I'm working for pikers. Please let me come home." It was hilarious. I took him back, and eventually coached him through his Series 3 and helped him set up his own book.

Fuck you if you don't think the Ari Gold approach works.

Feb 1, 2012

^ this thread is already totally off topic, so I'm not going there.

Edmundo Braverman:

Fuck you if you don't think the Ari Gold approach works.

It does work. Unfortunately this isn't a trading floor at a bucket shop and it simply won't fly. The rules have changed man, and people have no sense of humor.

Feb 1, 2012
Edmundo Braverman:

You guys bashing the Ari Gold approach are gonna love this story.

I had a really talented trading assistant once. I mean, this kid was AWESOME. He was a closer in his own right, and made me more money than probably ever other assistant I ever had COMBINED. That said, he knew he was good and therefore I had to spend a good deal of time keeping him in his place.

His talents didn't escape the notice of the other guys in the office, and after a while they mounted a pretty aggressive effort to hire him away from me. He came to me at one point and said, "Bro, they really want me to leave you and come work for them. They're promising me all kinds of stuff I'm not getting from you. I don't want to go work for them, but if you can't at least match what they're offering I have to do it."

He was pretty surprised when I just smiled and told him I'd miss him. Then I explained to him that the guys trying to lure him away made nowhere near the money I made and it wouldn't be long before they started shorting his pay. He told me I didn't know what I was talking about, and he went to work for this other guy.

I used to fuck with him in the office because his boss wasn't throwing up numbers like mine, and the numbers I was throwing up were a direct result of HIS efforts (which I no longer had to pay him for). Then his new boss struggled to pay him, so his new boss started pimping him out to other guys. Before he knew it, he was assisting five guys in the office for the same money I was paying him to just assist me.

He finally came to me and told me how badly he'd fucked up. Of course, I was understanding.

I made him get up in the morning meeting, get down on his knees, and in front of everyone beg me, "Please daddy, I want to come home. I fucked up and now I'm working for pikers. Please let me come home." It was hilarious. I took him back, and eventually coached him through his Series 3 and helped him set up his own book.

Fuck you if you don't think the Ari Gold approach works.

This is awesome!

Feb 1, 2012

I don't think I could get on my knees and beg in front of the entire office. It's pretty damn rough man. I wonder how many kids these days would do something like that.

Eddie, how old was this guy?

I have a really nice mentor and I'm grateful...

Feb 1, 2012

bonobochimp is right, and I do the same at my work. But not everyone is like this, there some sociopaths / unbelievable douches that do not understand a single fucking word.

Ufo, you have no option but to figure out how to deal with it yourself or ask someone more experienced / senior in your team for mentoring (which would be good for you either way around). You started with being nice with those guys, get tougher gradually until they understand or quit.

Eddie is epic

Feb 1, 2012

He was in his late 20's and had already been successful in another career. You guys might think it was a dick move on my part, but he was the only guy I ever gave a second chance to. All the others I just straight fired. That's how much talent this kid had. And it speaks to his character that he recognized that talent within himself to the point that he was willing to publicly beg for another shot.

Plus it was fucking hilarious.

Feb 1, 2012
Edmundo Braverman:

He was in his late 20's and had already been successful in another career. You guys might think it was a dick move on my part, but he was the only guy I ever gave a second chance to. All the others I just straight fired. That's how much talent this kid had. And it speaks to his character that he recognized that talent within himself to the point that he was willing to publicly beg for another shot.

Plus it was fucking hilarious.

I'll bet, it seems like that period of time and/or firm was a whole lot more fun...and based more on talent + work ethic than credentials + pedigree. I wonder if those days will ever come back

Feb 1, 2012
UFOinsider:

I'll bet, it seems like that period of time and/or firm was a whole lot more fun...and based more on talent + work ethic than credentials + pedigree. I wonder if those days will ever come back

You said a mouthful there. It was all about "what have you done for me lately" back then. It didn't matter where you came from. The top guy in the office when I started had to leave MA a couple years earlier because he "accidentally" threw a guy into a bonfire.

Feb 1, 2012

I have to say I have no real management experience whatsoever, so what I'll try and do is tell you about the qualities that I really liked and respected about my higher ups. Anyway, feel free to ignore it.

It seems to me you are not very specific. You need to tell the analyst exactly where he fucked up and show him how to do it properly, and it's VERY important that you take the time to do it. Even if it's something as stupid as using the fax machine. Also, you need to be very clear about the fact that if he fucks up again on the same thing it's on him. That will create a dynamic where he will be comfortable enough to come to you with doubts and accept criticism on his work, but he will also listen to the answers because he will know that you will only help him once. It's also important that you don't do the job for him instead of teaching him, which is a common mistake. It will take longer, but it will save you time in the long term. So instead of getting crap work and fixing it before delivering it to the MD/VP whoever, what I'd do is go up to the guy and tell him to grab a chair, sit next to you and show him how you do it properly, and how it's different from what he did before. But you can't just tell him "Hey listen, your work is unacceptable and you really need to improve", because reality is he doesn't know better. Also be sure to recognize when he does something right. Considering you're an analyst like him, which seems to be part of the problem, try to do it in a more subtle way. Continuing with the previous example, instead of "Hey you, grab a chair and come over here, I'm gonna show you how it's done" use something like "Hey man, I've seen your presentation/spreadsheet/whatever and I think we can improve it. Why don't you come over and we work on it so we nail it tomorrow?" If the guy really is an asshole like you think and refuses to learn, or directly says "No" when talked like that, just leave him hanging, when the boss asks say you thought the work was faulty, offered to help but he wouldn't let you.

When you become an associate, don't be afraid to use the direct approach and harsher words. People don't respect and like bosses because they are nice, they do BECAUSE THEY ARE FAIR. If you are just nice, they will take advantage of you, if you are an asshole for the sake of it they'll hate you. You need to tell them when they screw up, and also when they do a good job. If you use the same enthusiasm to reprimand him and to congratulate him you will be fine. My favourite VP was quite an asshole whenever I screwed up, screaming "You should be able to do this with your eyes closed", or his favourite one, standing up in the middle of the trading floor walking up to me and saying "This is completely unacceptable" so that everyone around would stare at me as if I was a leper. But when I did well he would also come by at the end of the day, sit down with me and tell me a couple of jokes and something like "Awesome work today, thank you very much for the help. Go home early you've earned it" instead of the regular looking at the spreadsheet for 10 secs and saying, "OK, thanks, good job" without even looking at me like the rest of the seniors.

If the guy doesn't respond to any of it, like I said I'd try to leave him hanging with a senior guy who can go Ari Gold on him. You yourself can't do it as an analyst, it just won't fly in any office. If you can't do that without looking bad yourself, I'd try the punishing and giving him a pile of work on a Friday afternoon (assuming you can actually get away with it if he complains to your superior). If nothing of that works, I'd go to the VP/ED/MD and talk to him, tell him the guy is not pulling his weight and that you've tried everything, and if maybe they can talk to him, and wash your hands thereafter.

    • 1
Feb 1, 2012

Great advice on this post, thank you everyone!! I'm not 100% sure I'll be in charge of jack, ever, but with this knowledge I at least stand a fighting chance. WSO is higly geared towards getting in the door and surviving, does anyone know of any forums about what comes next?

Feb 1, 2012

UFOinsider, I understand the frustration you are experiencing. It was a little bit of a shock at first when I transitioned to managing associates. Managing other people is incredibly difficult. To make matters worse, everyone has a different personality / goals / intelligence meaning you have to approach each person in a unique manner to be successful. Some thoughts based on my ~1 year of experience managing PE associates:

First, it is not evident to me based on your description of your situation that you have actually been tasked with managing this analyst. It sounds as though you have been tasked with mentoring the new guy to ensure that he learns the ropes. It is quite easy for this situation to be interpreted differently by all of the parties involved. Your interpretation is that you're the boss and have been given the responsibility to delegate work. I suspect that the new analyst does not see it that way. I suspect he believes you are trying to take advantage of him by pushing work that is your responsibility onto him. He may even be receiving reinforcement from other team members that this is indeed the case. I recommend you take a moment to analyze the situation to determine if this is indeed the case.

Second, you also need to take into consideration the point of view of the MD before deciding what your next steps are. It is highly likely that your MD views you as "another analyst," albeit an experienced one. I have frequently found that MDs have an EXTREMELY limited tolerance for junior employees who complain about "fairness" or things that are "not their fault." Even if this were the case, to try to pass blame to another analyst is a surefire way to lose standing with your entire team. The MD's primary concern is that the work is completed in a timely and accurate fashion. If you are indeed responsible for managing this analyst, the success of the project is ultimately YOUR responsibility. If your analyst fails to complete work on time or accurately, it is likely to be viewed as your failure to manage rather than the analyst's failure to perform. This is a key element to why managing others is so difficult -- you live and die by their performance.

Try to think about situations you've been in where you've needed to "report up" a problem to your boss, or perhaps a problem that your boss has encountered. How did he respond? Did he report it up to his boss, who then reported it up to his boss? I imagine that wasn't the case. I imagine that they tackled the problem themselves rather than passing it along to their superior. When you are responsible for someone else's work or professional development, the LAST thing you want to do is throw them under the bus. This reflects incredibly poorly on yourself. You need to do everything in your power to work it out with this guy before you bring in the senior folks. It may be miserable -- it may require longer hours or doing "grunt work" that you don't want to do, but it will make a huge difference.

Also, you indicated that you would consider firing this person if you had the power. I don't think you truly appreciate the ramifications of firing someone nor the severity of the infractions that usually result in firing. Regardless of the poor economy, coming in late and leaving early is hardly grounds for firing -- especially without numerous warnings from senior professionals. Furthermore, just because someone is a subordinate, it doesn't mean you have the ability to fire them. In the traditional i-banking structure (i know this is not your firm), associates do not make firing decisions. In fact, vice presidents and directors don't really have this power. Sometimes MDs can't even fire an analyst without seeking the approval of his peers. Firing is an extremely severe punishment and often reserved for serious offenses.

So what do you do? I think you have to get down in the trenches with this guy. Next time you give him an assignment, you need to do it WITH him. Walk him through the whole damn thing, regardless of how much time you need to invest. If you're absolutely swamped and can't do this, there is an alternative. I'm assuming you don't have an office, so pull him into a conference room and sit down next to him. Tell him that you're going to work on your stuff and will sit right next to him so that you can answer any questions right away. If you finish before him, don't get up and leave, help him. Show him that you're a team player and not just trying to pass off work so you can go home early. Compliment him in front of the MD if he does something well. People work hard for people that they LIKE. They go the extra mile if they know their efforts will be recognized. The concept of "beatings will continue until morale improves" does not work well in a corporate office.

Finally, if you're really looking to burn the guy, the time to do it is in his performance review. While I wouldn't recommend burning anyone, this is the appropriate avenue to do so.

Best of luck.

    • 2
Feb 1, 2012

SB to CompBanker.

Here is my alternative strategy for you to employ:

--Depending on what state you are in, check out the open carry laws. If your state has an open carry policy, buy a six-shooter and wear that shit around. I guarantee the analyst will pick up the slack and drop his attitude.

Feb 2, 2012
TheKing:

--Depending on what state you are in, check out the open carry laws. If your state has an open carry policy, buy a six-shooter and wear that shit around. I guarantee the analyst will pick up the slack and drop his attitude.

Funny story: I once had a boss from a notoriously corrupt country and we all used to hang out at the same bar. I'm pretty straight laced but the crowd I hung out with / grew up with were so rough (Marines, State Troopers, Bikers, dealers, gangs, 'businessmen', you name it) that I never really got the same crap that the other employees did. The implication being: I absolutely love working for you but if you fuck with me, an army is going to come after you because at this point in time you're the ONLY one that would have a problem with me and everyone knows it. Turns out that I was total overkill and basically took myself out of the running at that company and the guy turned out to be literally the nicest dude I've ever met: I look up to him like a surrogate father figure. Besides, that stuff just doesn't fly in corporate. Maybe I need to move to Texas to get a gun in the office? Does anyone here have a boss like that???

But enough posturing for me, I'm trying to do this right

CompBanker:

I suspect he believes you are trying to take advantage of him by pushing work that is your responsibility onto him. He may even be receiving reinforcement from other team members that this is indeed the case.

I read your post several times and I do believe this is the root of the problem. The kid got a relevant degree from a better school than me and knows it, so I think that's part of the equation, but he literally handed half of one task back to me. Mind you, this isn't high finance: it's product sales on the brokerage side of the firm, we get the assist on the stuff PWM teams and the like sell, so it's not like a finance degree matters much anyway. But I do think that if I'm open about the pile of other stuff I have to do that it should put in sharp relief exactly where the break down on my end is vs the breakdown on their end is. Nothing is official, and I might very well be doing the same thing in 9 months (in which case I move on) but in case the chatter from management is real, I want to make sure I do this right.

Hehe, I'd like to offer a SB but I'm in the hole right now. I think Patrick expects me to cough up a few bucks to balance my account out, so I'll decide what to do with that over the weekend.

Feb 1, 2012

^ Amen.

Is it blatantly obvious that he is under your management or does your MD expect you to steer him through the waters due to limited knowledge?

It could be that this seems like a case of some target student, overly obsessed with himself and his abilities and thinks that he should be modelling rather than doing the grunt work.

I remember during my SA, my VP said one thing to me after I questioned her about my liberal arts background. She said that there was no job at the bank that I was overly qualified for or even qualified for in the first place...regardless of how many internships you had or what classes you took. She said working with junior people is a two way street - you get out what you put in. I remember her praising me in front of the MD for something small in my first week...that in itself was the carrot and the stick that made me work harder.

It would be all to easy for you to have a 'fuck this, whatever' attitude but whether your MD expects you to manage him or mentor him, it will inevitably show in his progression.

Feb 1, 2012

If, teabagging him doesn't put him in line just keep telling him he fucks shit up in front of the whole office. Yell it loud so everyone can hear. If your bosses have a problem with it tell them to go fuck themselves because you are trying to save them money.

Follow the shit your fellow monkeys say @shitWSOsays

Life is hard, it's even harder when you're stupid - John Wayne

Feb 2, 2012

In my experience, military and otherwise, the only time you have to pull rank is when a) you have failed to establish an effective leadership - followership relationship with your subordinates or b) the person is on their way out anyway and being nice won't work so laying down the law is useful only to justify actually pulling the trigger on getting rid of them.

If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses - Henry Ford

Feb 2, 2012

Looks like a lot of what I wanted to say has been said already. It's just a matter of figuring out how his personality would respond to the different approaches. If the guy wants to do a good job and is just having trouble, appeal to that. If you have to ratchet it up to someone above you, then there is that as well.

You figure it out pal! All part of the career path.

Metal. Music. Life. www.headofmetal.com

Feb 3, 2012
UFOinsider:

Speaking for myself, my dad was a Marine DI and thoroughly ingrained in us the concept of RHIP: Rank Has It's Privelages.

Unfortunately, it seems your dad didn't teach you grammar.

Feb 3, 2012
puax:
UFOinsider:

Speaking for myself, my dad was a Marine DI and thoroughly ingrained in us the concept of RHIP: Rank Has It's Privelages.

Unfortunately, it seems your dad didn't teach you grammar.

It seems that yours didn't teach you manners.

Feb 4, 2012
Comment
Feb 6, 2012
Feb 6, 2012