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5 Secrets of Lousy Leaders

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5 Triumphs of Lousy Leaders
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5 Secrets of Lousy Leaders

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As we watch corporate and political leaders navigate the obstacles of the present day, we are struck by how many leaders are truly lousy. Definition of a Lousy Leader, an intimidator who accuses, who doesn’t listen, is not organized, presents no vision, does not build relationships, takes credit for everyone’s work, does not motivate, and is an impromptu speaker. What are the secrets of lousy leaders? What do lousy leaders all have in common?

As we watch corporate and political leaders navigate the obstacles of the present day, we are struck by how many leaders are truly lousy. Definition of a Lousy Leader, an intimidator who accuses, who doesn’t listen, is not organized, presents no vision, does not build relationships, takes credit for everyone’s work, does not motivate, and is an impromptu speaker. What are the secrets of lousy leaders? What do lousy leaders all have in common?

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5 Secrets of Lousy Leaders

  1. 1. 5 Secrets of Lousy Leaders Rex Gatto Ph.D., BCC As we watch corporate and political leaders navigate the obstacles of the present day, we are struck by how many leaders are truly lousy. Definition of a Lousy Leader, an intimidator who accuses, who doesn’t listen, is not organized, presents no vision, does not build relationships, takes credit for everyone’s work, does not motivate, and is an impromptu speaker. What are the secrets of lousy leaders? What do lousy leaders all have in common? The answer is Lousy Leaders are very effective at: · Keeping people off balance, not knowing what to expect next · Keeping people intimidated by preemptive accusations · Keeping people uninformed with promises of letting them know without letting them know Five Secrets of Lousy Leaders: 1. Passive Leadership (not actively leading) 2. Ambiguity (not establishing clear or measurable goals) 3. Staying in Their Office (not being visible) 4. Self-Promotion (not letting others get credit for their work)
  2. 2. 5. Derogatory Statements (not making positive statements about followers) #1: Passive Leadership Lousy Leaders have learned to wait, observe what is going on, blame others for not taking action, and continue with accusations of why others are the cause of the current problem. They sit back and wait, leading from the rear. There is a line between effective and ineffective leadership. Lousy leaders see themselves as altruistically great leaders but they clearly fall below the line as ineffective. It is as though they are a motorboat going at full throttle and creating wake after wake with everyone bobbing up and down as they continue to circle all who are in the water. Great leaders have always taken charge and inspired followers, and built a culture of collaboration, growth and development. Great leaders lead from the front by being role models of action. Lousy leaders move from being inspirational to dominating, from taking risks to blaming and humiliating others for the actions they have taken. These leaders build a work environment of intimidation to keep everyone off balance. Employees wonder who will be accused of what next. People wait for the infrequent compliment like a large fish waiting for a minnow unaware it is attached to a hook. “Lousy leaders build fear and competition among direct reports while focusing on promoting themselves and focusing on the inadequacies of others.” Rex Gatto #2: Ambiguity Lousy Leaders never set clear and measurable goals. They create ambiguity, wanting followers to find their own way so the Lousy Leader is not held accountable. Rule Number One to never apologize for anything, even if what was said and done is complete nonsense and refutes past statements. If a clear and measured path forward is not established, the Lousy Leaders know they cannot be blamed for any outcome. It is always others they can blame for failing to perform. Lousy Leaders believe that leadership is the inhumane approach to leading others to take action that the Lousy Leader can either take credit for or blame the follower for not doing a good enough job. Great leaders realize leadership is the art of establish a clear direction working toward the audacious goal while inspiring others to want to humanely work together, overcoming obstacles and feeling great pride in accomplishing it. “Undisciplined Lousy Leaders avoid doing measurable and achievable acts and thus can blame others for not achieving the undefined goal.” Rex Gatto #3: Staying in Their Office Lousy Leaders have perfected the ODP, usually referred to as the Open-Door Policy. However, in the case of the Lousy Leaders, ODP stands for Open and Deeply Private, so stay out. Lousy Leaders stay in their office all the while knowing no one would ever dare step foot in that office. Yet every chance they can, they state that they have an open-door policy. If employees were to step in the office, they would see the sign on the desk that says, “Come only with solutions and resolve conflicts on your own!” If Lousy Leaders stay in their offices, they don’t have to listen to whinny employees who have issues. Not being visible creates the aura of importance and
  3. 3. mysticism. Putting out edicts and letting people know the work that is being done by you; holding a periodic team meeting to a captured audience without having them say anything: these all create the illusion of an important leader. Great leaders have always led from the front and practice the Open-Door Policy: great leaders get up and walk through the door to see the employees and to have an open dialogue discussion. They walk around the office, continually visiting all sites and knowing the feelings, smells and culture of each site and floor. Great leaders know the cultures within the culture of their organization. Through that visibility, leaders gain a sense of performance and efficiency within the work environment. “Lousy Leaders stay in their office, promoting the great things they do while letting others know they are letting the organization down.” Rex Gatto #4: Self-Promotion Credit and recognition are the magic potion for the Lousy Leaders. They must have followers heap praise like the pitching of hay on the lousy leader, telling them constantly what a great job they do. Lousy Leaders all the while hold praise from followers who wait to hear one small thank you. Followers must let everyone know how effective the Lousy Leaders are in the performance of their jobs. Lousy Leaders know that the success of organizational achievement is theirs and theirs alone while failures are the exploits of lousy followers. Lousy Leaders remember the basketball coach is never at fault; it is the lousy players on the floor who miss shots and rebounds that cause losses. Lousy Leaders will show pictures of themselves with other people in leadership positions as though it validates that they are a great leader who associate with other great leaders. Great leaders know that the job of a leader is to inspire, grow and develop followers. They find opportunities for followers to shine and receive credit of a job well done. They give followers opportunities to present their work and findings to receive recognize for their achievements. Great leaders quietly inspire followers to do more than they actually believed they could do. “Lousy Leaders never inspire direct reports because they only let them know all the amazing things they have done (me) but never ever give credit to others.” Rex Gatto #5: Derogatory Statements Lousy leaders have learned the art of being a Complaining Know It All (CKIA) and a Hostile Aggressive (HA). Lousy Leaders have taken the art of leadership and transformed it into the art of Complaining and Accusing. They constantly complain about all that is wrong and keeping followers in the dark as to what is going on. The Lousy Leader continually accuses and verbally attacks others for the action or non-action they have taken. The lousy leaders only give bits and pieces of information out to various individuals so no one really knows the complete big picture. This is a communication form of manipulation by having people take action based on limited information. The Lousy Leader can then focus on what is wrong and not what is ever right. If no one knows the big picture then the Lousy Leader can criticize because the Lousy Leader feels everyone else is wrong and foolish. Furthermore,
  4. 4. without knowing the big picture, all followers are set up for the negative comments of the Lousy Leader who sits back and tweets ridiculous disproven facts. Great Leaders have a message of hope and direction. They help followers to know where they are all going and what they will be doing together in the new hope of the future. Great leaders inspire people to want to work together. Positive leaders are humble and caring of the followers. Great leaders are goal directed; able to support different personalities in creating a culture of accountability; clearly communicate a positive message, treat people fairly and respectfully, and let people know that they are valued. “Lousy leaders hire talented people, demoralize them, and ask for unrequited loyalty.” Rex Gatto If you do work for a Lousy Leader, all is not lost: you can create a Coping Plan: · Remain Calm (remember who you are and what your talents are) · Get your resume together (plan for your future) · Give yourself and others daily/weekly goals based on job responsibilities to achieve · Stay focused on what you want from the workplace and be realistic · Develop a career plan for yourself (your career your responsibility) Summary: Sometimes in coaching, I pull out a dollar bill give it to the coachee. I ask the coachee to wrinkle the dollar and step on it. I then ask the coachee what is the worth of the dollar, answer one dollar. Sometimes working with a Lousy Leader can cause followers to lose confidence and devalue their worth. Followers need to evaluate the effect working with a Lousy Leader has on them. I had a client leader once ask me to reopen a 360˚ assessment so this client leader could lower the scores of a participant/manager the client had previously evaluated. The client leader saw that the manager had higher scores than her, and wanted to ultimately score higher than this manager! Lousy Leaders come in all forms, ages, genders, and shapes. They try to manipulate and take control. Of course, we would not reopen the 360˚evaluation for this person and lost them as a client. Lousy Leaders have created a place for themselves in the workplace. Some have buffaloed former leaders to think they can be an effective leader even though they are fraudulent fake leaders. Do not be discouraged if you are working for a Lousy Leader: remember every organization, job, position, and leader has a life. If you find yourself questioning your abilities, identify your achievements, and inspire yourself and others. You can use the incompetence of the Lousy Leader as teaching lessons and learn how NOT to lead! Thank you for reading this article. Please like or share with your network. Please checkout the final article in this 3 part series "5 Triumphs of Lousy Leaders" https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/5-triumphs-lousy-leaders-rex-gatto-ph-d-bcc/ Thank You!
  5. 5. Rex Gatto Ph.D., BCC President Gatto Associates LLC. 412 344-2277 (Office) www.rexgatto.com rex@rexgatto.com

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