As a manager, I don’t watch the clock.

I don’t care if people get their job done in 6 hours. Or 9 hours.

I also don’t care when people come to work. 6am is fine with me. 10am. Noon.

As long as they do their job, are engaged and there’s enough time for the team to collaborate.

A few years back, one of my employees abused my laissez-faire style.

Her lunch breaks were 2.5 hours long.

She came in at 10am and left at 3.

4-5 cigarette breaks.

So I acted like an inexperienced leader.

I came up with new rules: Everybody has to be in the office by 8.30. Nobody leaves before 4pm. Lunch breaks are only 1 hour long.

Out of anger that somebody abused my rather liberal time management style, I punished everybody.

What a mistake.

I should have just talked to her and fixed her problem. Instead, my anger clouded my thinking and I started to believe all my employees were abusing privileges. It was me against the world.

Out of this anger and my clouded head, I punished everybody.

We tend to create rules for many to punish some.

A terrorist tried to light his shoes on fire on a plane. Since then, we all have to take our shoes off.

1 employee spends all his day on Facebook and Twitter. Suddenly, these sites can’t be accessed at work anymore.

A 20-year old with a fake ID drinks a beer and then bar gets fined. The bar posts a sign “We check every ID. NO EXCEPTION.” And a 70-year old has to pull out his ID.

Life happens.

People make mistakes.

People act stupid.

Deal with the specific problem.

Don’t punish everyone for one person’s mistake.