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Management Insight

Part 1: The 5 Biggest Financial Mistakes Managers Make

Part 2: Financial Blunders to Avoid||14516

Part 3: Lesson: Perform Due Diligence on Financial Decisions||14517

The 5 Biggest Financial Mistakes Managers Make

By Andrew Gager November 2013 - Facility Maintenance Decisions Columnists

Stop me if you’ve heard this one before. A salesperson, an accountant, a technician, a supervisor, and manager were sitting around talking when the conversation turned to their biggest professional confessions.

The salesperson pipes up first. “I can sell ice to an Eskimo,” he says. His point is that he takes advantage of customers by selling the latest gadgets to anyone willing to pay. The accountant wouldn’t confess to anything, instead only admitting that he approved the financing of expensive software for his organization that didn’t solve any budget issues or fix the temperature in his office.

The technician was next. He confessed that he continues to work on the same equipment over and over, even though he doesn’t have the proper tools for the job. Up next was the supervisor, who confessed he doesn’t like conflict and just wants to be liked by his staff, no matter how his performance suffers. His penance was to run for public office. The manager went last. He asked forgiveness for spending too much money. His penance was to subcontract all maintenance activity and write the contract so it created animosity, resentment and fingerpointing.

The punchline here is that there is no punchline. These confessions are no laughing matter. They represent real mistakes maintenance and engineering managers make every day. I have witnessed and heard each confession or slight variations of each admission. It strikes me that we know better than to repeat these mistakes. Yet we continue to do so.


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