images-3If you were James Dyson’s boss, would you have fired him before he created his 5,127th prototype of a new vacuum cleaner?

I’ve been trying to figure out why employees have become so fearful of making mistakes and I think the cause is what I’ve called ‘Float and Dive Management’.

Since there is no longer enough time to be a micro-manager, people have become ‘Float and Dive’ Managers. Employees are ignored for a long time but at some time the manager dives in, creates a flurry of activity, finds a bunch of problems, becomes irritated, bawls out the employee for his failures and retreats back into float mode.

The poor employee, having become traumatized by the Dive, never knows when it’s going to happen again, and lives in daily fear of another Dive.

A non Float and Dive Manager would see what’s happening all the time, recognize that errors are part of the daily routine and not freak out over small ones.

Back to James Dyson. 14 years and 5,126 errors till he got it right.When would you have fired him?