“In the past very bright people would put up with disrespectful behavior, but in the future they will leave.” Marshall Goldsmith, What Got You Here Won’t Get You There
I came across the Forbes article Buckets of Bad Advice: How Not to Manage People by Todd Nordstrom and David Sturt. I was intrigued. In a previous article, the pair asked people to tell them what lessons bad bosses taught them. Of course they were flooded with responses and wrote Buckets of Bad Advice in response.
Would you be surprised that many of the bad examples were around communication?
“Marsha Friedman, CEO of EMSI Public Relations wrote, ‘You get far more from people by showing respect and caring than by screaming, threatening and throwing fits. I’m sorry to say I tried the shouting approach once or twice. I can tell you it doesn’t work with employees, or kids!'”
“Paul Boucher, a Foreman with a Department of Public Works responded by saying, ‘Employees are not possessions but rather human beings with feelings. When properly nurtured in a work environment, they thrive, and the company or team thrives.'”
In the September issue of Inc. Magazine, they published Inc’s 500 fastest growing privately held companies list. The issue included an analysis of what makes the leaders of those companies so unique. Skills like drive, ambition, and vision topped the list of what it takes to be the CEO of a growing company. It also revealed that while the Inc. 500 CEOs scored higher than the national leadership average on those three skills, they scored well below average on relationship building skills.
Leadership coach Marshall Goldsmith is famed for saying telling leaders that the higher up you move, the more your “quirks” begin to “irk” and reduce your leadership effectiveness.
So, all of these articles and books got me thinking about a list of how NOT to lead people. I say lead instead of manage because I believe bosses have to lead and not manage people. So, here are 25 ways NOT to lead people…
1. Fix their problems for them.
2. Make them work all the time.
3. Never say, “Thank you.”.
4. Steal credit for their work.
5. Kick them when they are low.
6. Order them around.
7. Humiliate them in public.
10. Gossip about them.
11. Create divisiveness.
12. Foster unhealthy competition.
13. Threaten to fire them at any time.
14. Speak to them like they are children.
15. Call them names.
16. Give them no performance feedback.
17. Withhold information and resources.
18. Fire everyone around them, but still insist they do their job on time and on budget.
19. Use passive aggressive behavior.
20. Use sarcasm frequently.
21. Never seek the opinion of others.
22. Do their job for them.
23. Set unrealistic expectations.
24. Never make a decision.
Notice that I left #25 blank. What would you add to this list? Please leave your comment below.
Glenn Brooke says
Great list, Julia. I’m sure I’ve made all these mistakes. I might add, “Never let them be the hero.”
Julia Winston says
Good one Glenn!
Great list, Julia. My addition is to tell half of the truth.