12 Signs Of Un-Leadership

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.

That energy is also very fragile. It doesn’t take much to deflate a team. Like a big balloon, insensitive attitudes and actions can deflate team members, but when those actions are honest mistakes, most people can, and will, overlook them for a while.

But when those mistakes come from the leader’s true character, they kill the team. The behavior is what I call un-leadership and the actions themselves are demotivators.*

Top 12 Signs Of Un-Leadership

So I thought we’d have some fun with the idea. Here are my top 12 signs of un-leadership or demotivators. See if you agree or disagree or maybe you can add some of your own.

  1. Make yourself the purpose of everything the organization does.
  2. Withhold information and then criticize others for not being as smart as you.
  3. Compensate yourself (or a small, inner circle) exponentially better than the team.
  4. Reward suck-ups and brown-nosers.
  5. Answer questions someone asks of your team members.
  6. Interrupt people. Finish their sentences
  7. Insist on being right. Never admit fault, or always have an excuse.
  8. Show team members where they fall short. It's only for their good...
  9. Remind them how you helped them by showing them where they fell short.
  10. Change direction or priorities regularly.
  11. Shoot messengers.
  12. Ask people to do something but, before they can do it, do it yourself because they weren’t moving fast enough..

If you’ve ever worked with me, you know I’m capable of every one of these and a few others. Hopefully, I’m developing my character so these happen less and less. Character-based leaders can always improve, not just their behavior, but their who-they-are.

We can become the people who just don't do these things. We can become the kind of person others want to join. Then, when we make these kinds of mistakes, like I did last week, some people cut us a little slack. And we can all use a little slack.

So, what would you add? Don't name anyone, except maybe yourself. But take a minute and help us make a great list. Then we can get back to being the leader we really want to be.

This post is a hat-tip to http://www.despair.com, the most creative workplace tool I've ever seen.