The minimum effort style of leadership is based on the philosophy: Avoid getting involved in anything. The manager who follows this approach completely avoids getting involved in work or worker problems. No wonder this style of leadership is often referred to as MBR (Management By Retreat).
Minimum-effort managers accept all the decisions of others without disagreement.
They’re at their desks right on time in the morning and they leave right on the dot at quitting time. They can’t be criticized for being late for work, but they’ll never be tabbed as ”eager beavers” either. They’re never late for meetings, because being late would make them stand out. When they get to the meeting they take copious notes to appear so busy that no one will dare ask them any questions. If they’re asked to give their opinion, they dodge or agree in general with everyone. Their whole purpose in life is to go about unobserved.
A manager who has adopted the minimum effort style has usually done so as a result of the organizational climate in which he or she exists or has existed before. Generally, when tracing the history of a person who has become a non entity type of manager, you’ll find that the organization has on one or many occasions either actively or passively discouraged participation and, in some instances, has even punished employees for participation. As a result, the manager has adopted the attitude, “I’ll keep my nose clean and stay out of trouble. It just isn’t worth it!” When people become non entity managers, they are, in essence, a failure both to themselves and to their organization. They’re a failure to themselves because they’ve accepted defeat. They’re a failure to the organization because they’ve disengaged themselves from participation to the point where they’ll never be motivated to improve operations.