13 Signs of Un-Leadership

October 31, 2015

I’m a big fan of leadership and how the best leaders inspire people. Great leaders create an atmosphere where the energy for the team’s success comes from within the team members. Energy flows from the team to the stakeholders and customers. The energy, excitement and creativity are organic, natural and authentic.

8083062_sOrganic energy is also very fragile. It doesn’t take much to deflate a team. Like a big balloon, wrong attitudes and wrong actions can deflate team members, draining all life. When those wrong actions are honest mistakes, most people can overlook them. Chronic, repeated mistakes aren’t accidents.  When those mistakes come from the leader’s true character, they kill the team. I call them demotivators (which happens to be a registered trademark of one of my favorite sites, Despair.com).  So today, let’s call them acts of un-leadership.

Let’s have some fun with the idea. Here are my top 13 signs of un-leadership. See if you agree or can add some of your own. You demonstrate un-leadership when…

  1. You make yourself the purpose of everything the organization does.
  2. You withhold information and then criticize team member decisions for not being as smart as you are.
  3. You compensate unfairly or show partiality.
  4. You answer questions someone asks of your team members.
  5. You interrupt people.
  6. You insist on being right.
  7. You change direction or priorities frequently and without warning.
  8. You shoot messengers.
  9. You ask people to do something and then do it for them because they weren’t moving fast enough.
  10. You reward suck-ups and mediocrity.
  11. You invite outsiders to critique and “improve” recommendations made by your team members.
  12. You “help” others improve by showing them where they fall short.
  13. You remind others how you helped by showing them where they fell short.

If you’ve ever worked with me, you know I’m capable of every one of these. Hopefully, I’m developing my character so these happen less and less. What would you add? Take some time and let’s make a great list.

Photo (c) Kamil Macniak 123rf.com