I am looking for advice on leadership. I have a subordinate who is constantly arriving late and leaving early she has been spoken to about this. Lately she got very put out with me that I wouldn't move my walking device away from my chair. I cannot stand nor can I walk with out my walking device and I do need to move for my job. Then I forgot to lock my computer. We are not supposed to do that but it happens from time to time. She came into the lunchroom and started yelling at me about it. I outrank her, it doesn't affect her job, and I REALLY don't understand why she is so emotionally invested in it. To me this is disrespect. How do I deal with this?

On a side note if anyone knows of a good leadership forum for new leaders to ask questions, I would be most appreciative.

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I agree that this sounds more like a management issue than a leadership issue.  I don't really have any good suggestions for management training books.

As for leadership, look up the US Army leadership manuals.  ADP 6-22 and ADRP 6-22.  You can find them free online.  They are excellent, and while they are written for a military audience they are very applicable to all leadership.

Next time something similar arises, politely ask her for assistance in creating a fool proof way in making sure that it not only doesn't happen with you, but not with anyone else either. Diffuse these situations by making it into a positive for both of you. Show that you can enable her by helping to lead her in something that she is emotionally attached to while remaining calm and proactive yourself.

You don't deserve respect if you aren't earning it.

Do you have the power to fire her?  She's insubordinate, obnoxious, presumptuous, insensitive, and lazy.  Sounds like way more trouble than she's worth.  I'd be less worried about her than about her effect on everybody else.  A broad like that could very well spoil the culture of the whole organization.  If you keep somebody like that around ... you tell everyone else that her behavior is acceptable.

If it were my call ... she wouldn't make it to the end of the week.  Sometimes, leadership means pulling the plug when a hire isn't working out.


Can her, she is disrespectful towards you and authority
She will become a cancer. She's probably used to getting fired anyway.

Is she a good worker or average?  If average, document everything and set up her transition out of the company.  If she is a good worker, have a sit down and ask what is up.  The yelling at you in the lunchroom is a power move to try to block her getting fired.  It sets up the story line that you are the problem and not her.  
As to your walking device.  That seems like a very odd request.  Again a power move.

Just document everything.  Build up a thick document to back up any actions you take.

I'm still disagreeing with everyone, the OP is asking about leadership. A leader doesn't expect respect, a leader earns it. A leader just doesn't fire everyone who disagrees, the leader embraces disagreement and uses it to create a stronger team. A leader recognizes his faults and continually works to eliminate them in himself and in his team.

Any person with authority can fire someone for any reason. Doesn't make them a leader.

Disagreement and yelling at a superior in the lunch room are two very different things.  I don't see how an employee like that makes the team stronger.


True, and he might need to fire her as a lost cause at this point. Firing is extremely easy and only resolves the immediate problem of his "authority" being questioned. I am addressing this from his last question on becoming a leader and what happens with the next "problem" employee.

Firing an employee because he wasn't able to resolve even the potential for conflict in HIS team is entirely HIS failure. 

But not to be a total jerkass, the book Feiner Points of Leadership was probably the best I read while getting my MBA. Great book on leadership with plenty of examples of when he screwed up, as well as when he got it right. I might even give it another read here soon.


I agree that a leader recognizes his faults and works to eliminate them in himself and his team.  Note I asked if she was worth keeping.  If the person is a good worker, an assent to the team, you talk to them to figure out what  is going on.  

Is there some personal issue that some extra care and handling is needed to get them through a rough patch?  Is that why they are acting out of line?  How can you provide support so that they can return great performance and team unity?

Is it simply a power play disrupting the team?  If so, is that person's contribution worth the added stress to the working environment?

As a leader you also need to document all of this to protect the company should you choose to remove the person from employment.  In many parts of the world, you can't fire someone for any reason.  Even if you can, in many places it will cost the company unemployment fees if not properly documented.

Leadership in a company has many aspects.  Some is interpersonal and some is legal. 


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