Designed for Failure

We need to rethink this.

Despite countless classes, blogs and stories on how to be a better leader apparently most of us still suck at it. As the 2013 Gallup State of the American Workplace reports, uh, this is not a skill.

Maybe the problem is one of design: all these things we’re supposed to start doing to be an effective leader are just too complicated!

To be the best at being the worst, simply…

Don’t Communicate

Listen, you hire smart people. Why piss them off by trying to communicating all the time? Let them do whatever it is they do all day and at least you won’t annoy them by pretending to be in a leadership position. Let them figure it out on their own: after all – no helped you

Don’t Wander Around

Tom Peters is the only guy who ever made money wandering around and even he doesn’t do it anymore. Forget this old chestnut of advice and let your people be. If management wanted you to wander around and interact with the troops they would have given you roller skates, not a desk

Don’t set High Standards

Why fly with the eagles when you can run with the turkeys. Or trot. Or whatever turkeys do. Standards are for people with a lot of expectations and desire and those people don’t work here. Just be an easy-going person and try to leave a little early if you can

Don’t Listen

Listening is for relationships and even lousy managers know they’re not supposed to have relationships with their team. So quit mixing business and pleasure and ask your people to call the EAP the next time they need a sympathetic ear. You were never a good listener anyway and look where its gotten you

Don’t Coach

You wanna coach, go play t-ball or soccer. This is the real world and no one needs to be coached by the likes of you anyway. Let people sink or swim on their own and the strong will survive or something like that. Darwin said so. Or was that Dagwood? Anyway – just don’t try to coach unless your last name is Landry and your first name is, uh, Coach.

Turns out leadership is one of those things that’s easy to recognize but hard to do. Like skateboarding. And yet, if we just take the afore-mentioned list and remove the word “don’t” we have a pretty nice start on what it takes to be a leader.

Its hard to be a leader, but it can be done.

So take these tips or don’t, that's your choice

Now let me go hide in my office…



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