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Thursday, September 25, 2008

Destructive Leadership Behaviors Are Killing Good Organizations

One bad leader can poison an organization. Have you seen the destructive behaviors listed below? 

Here are some of the "bad leader" traits that I have witnessed.

Destructive leaders often...

treat people as things or objects

rarely arouse, engage or inspire

aren't good at fixing problems, but excel at assigning blame

are great delegators, but don't like to follow-up

don't trust people that aren't in their close knit group (sometimes their close knit group is them)

believe in a sense of order, as long as they define the order

are greedy (more power, success, money)

believe people are easily expendable (they often have a history of failed personal relationships, marriages, business relationships, etc.)

don't have many (if any) true friends and close business relationships

aren't trustworthy and don't usually trust others

don't possess a common code of decency that others can easily recognize

consistently put their needs above those of their followers

aren't satisfied with what they have (jealousy and envy often drive their behavior)

take advantage of others in a way that can be personally destructive

usually can't create or implement lasting beneficial change due to non-involvement, personal courage, and conviction

are unwilling to have a personal stake in outcomes

often have personalities traits that are out of sync with mainstream thinking (this can also be a positive leadership trait)

often possess an uncanny ability to have both a blind eye and a deaf ear when dealing with others

take personal credit for group accomplishments or the accomplishments of others

are deceptive or intellectually dishonest. They muddy the truth with distorted language or they change the subject to attack your beliefs

rarely give public praise to another

aren't specific or can't be pinned down regarding their position

often leave others asking them to clarify their remarks or explain their position (often a hopeless cause)

love to communicate via e-mail to avoid facing others

often don't understand that the big picture is sometimes just one of the snapshots

use politics to gain power in a way that is unethical, unnecessary, and unwelcome

are self-centered vs. organization centered

often leave their followers "hung out to dry"

say one thing while actively planning to do something different

are poor role models

often make important decisions based upon sketchy information, emotion, or something out of the latest trade journal

believe they are smarter than everybody else

don't like to debate or participate in brainstorming sessions (this is beneath them)

are as transparent as a sheet of glass

Be careful when dealing with these people.  Many of them have great power and aren't afraid to use it.  Remember, when dealing with them to put personal feelings aside and treat them as you would want to be treated.  Bad leaders are inevitable, however we often have to work with them, and we often need their help.  

Remember the Golden Rule!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Brilliant. This sounds like someone I know. A former business partner that is currently taking my business!

Thanks for the clarification.