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Training Supervisors and Managers to break the “Set Up to Fail” Syndrome -

  • 15 Mar 2013
  • 8:00 AM - 10:00 AM
  • Midlands Technical College- Northeast Campus
  • 58


  • ASTD Midlands welcomes first time guests with the offering of a One Time Guest pass. In order to attend, please contact our Membership Director at membership@astdmidlands.org to receive a special code
  • Unable to physically attend the meeting? We now offer online access. It is limited to the first 25. Online particpants will receive a separate email with link 2 days prior to the scheduled meeting.

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Session Title: Training Supervisors and Managers to break the “Set Up to Fail” Syndrome

Oscar S. Lewis, PhD, FAAFM

Does this scenario sound familiar? An employee you manage slips up somehow: a missed deadline, a lost account, or a weak presentation. You decide to oversee that person's work more closely. After all, if your direct reports aren't delivering, it's your head that will roll. To further your frustration, the more you 'help', the worse the employee's performance becomes. What's going on?

In many cases, a boss' attitudes and behaviors actually cause or 'set up' certain individuals - including those with great potential - to fail. Based on ten years of study into boss-subordinate relationships, this Set-Up-to-Fail Syndrome is not confined to relationships with the proverbial 'boss from hell'. Even respected leaders - whether CEOs, teachers, or coaches - get caught up in it. The problem stems from the fact that while most managers empower and encourage star performers, they tend to micromanage and control perceived 'weaker' performers in ways that stifle self-confidence and drive. The unwitting result: the latter group lives down to expectations, rather than living up to its true potential. The cost of the Syndrome goes well beyond the lost productivity of a few individuals. It also threatens to derail careers, takes a heavy toll on morale, and hampers overall organizational results.

We have to recognize the mental biases that cause bosses to trigger the cycle; understand how subordinates contribute to fueling the problem; take specific steps to interrupt the cycle through proactive interventions; and, prevent the Syndrome altogether by managing relationships differently.

We want to recognize this, train our supervisory personnel on how to break the cycle, and remove it from our organizations.


What you will learn:

  • Learn how to help your organization by training supervisors and managers to be aware and break the “Set Up to Fail” Syndrome when developing or coaching employees.

  • If you are a manager or plan to become one, you will learn how to break or avoid this Syndrome

  • Learn how this syndrome impacts individual job performance and ultimately the organizational results.

About Oscar S. Lewis, PhD, FAAFM:

 Oscar S. Lewis, PhD, FAAFM (Fellow, American Academy of Financial Management), CBM (Certified Business Manager), is an educator and administrative professional with a 40 year career in finance, planning, and Human Resources.  He has spoken at the Institute of Management Accountants annual conference for each of the past 9 years, as well as the SHRM Conference and the Global Risk Management Conference.  He is a father and grandfather, as well as an alumnus of the University of South Carolina in Columbia.  He is currently employed installing software systems commercially, in addition to training people in its’ use.





Mailing Address:
ATD South Carolina, P.O. Box 512, Columbia, SC 29202 


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