Thursday, October 16, 2008

Tips to Help You Become a De-Motivating Leader part 1

Here are some free, time-tested tips on how to be a de-motivating un-leader.  These are guaranteed to work when you want to de-motivate and un-lead your team.

  1. Consider stories or struggles other people share as an invitation and opportunity to share your own stories and talk about your own struggles.  Never come back  to the other person's problem.  Monopolize the conversation and talk about yourself.  Your team will soon stop sharing anything deep or meaningful.    
  2. Be a poor listener - lack empathy, don't ask questions - see above .   see #8
  3. Always tell people about your family but never ask them about their family.
  4. Do not encourage your team with notes, gifts or public praise.
  5. Encourage your team to take risks and go out on a limb.  However, do not protect your team members from outside criticism for taking risks and trying new things.
  6. Do not seek to understand the hearts of your team members.
  7. Don't connect relationally and authentically.  Don't make a heart connection and try to understand the realities of where your your team members are.
    1. Understand = "joining someone else's truth and deep waters of the heart"
  8. Don't let people understand who you are and your truth.  see above
  9. Make sure everyone knows how busy you are.  Don't notice that your team is busy, too.  If you do notice it, repent for being sensitive.  Never mention it out loud.
  10. Be a cock-eyed pessimist.  Be a "no, because" person instead of a "yes, if" person. 
  11. Say "that won't work here," or, "that doesn't really work at that other place."  Say these phrases every time you are challenged by an idea.   Do not say, "I wonder if we could make that work here."
  12. Ask for input and argue against all the input ideas.  Explain, using your years of experience, why they won't work.  If possible, tell a story about you.  see #1
  13. Focus on the negatives of a current situation.  Don't let it ever occur to you to celebrate or leverage the positives.  When necessary, talk about sick and dying people to distract your team.
  14. Lament failures deeply.  Do not learn from them.  Neither expect them nor allow them. 
  15. Ignore success and progress.  Minimize any perceived successes - especially when someone is really pleased and has worked hard. 
  16. Do #11-15 publicly - especially with key players in your organization.

I am personally guilty of a good number of these.  Some often.  Some infrequently.  Turn these around into positive statements and the list can be a good guide for becoming a motivating leader.   Sometimes, in order to really know what something IS, you have to learn what it is NOT.   When you experience de-motivating un-leadership, you learn what motivating leadership is in a stronger way.

Do you have any tips to add?

(Part 2 coming soon)