Failure Lesson One: Three Sure-Fire Ways to Lose your Followers

So much is written about how to be an effective leader. I thought it would be interesting to do a “failure” series. Sure, no one sets out to be a poor leader but sadly, it happens too often.

So, in the next few posts, we’ll explore leadership behaviors that are sure to bring failure. Learn from these – DON’T do them and succeed!

In this post, consider these three tactics that turn your followers against you:

#1  Because I said so.
Yes, you are the leader. And yes, your title alone may be enough to make someone perform. But the “because I said so” mentality tells your team they are children. It’s the equivalent of a mother saying “no” to her five-year old’s request to play outside and when the child asks “why”, she responds in that dreaded phrase, “because I said so.”. No argument. No discussion. One of the greatest roads to engagement is sharing the reason(s) for a decision. Help them understand how the dots connect. Even when they don’t agree with the solution, they at least know your reason for it.

 #2 What you see is NOT what you get.
It’s easy (and fashionable) to say your employees are the most important part of your success. And it’s just as easy to describe your leadership approach with phrases like “open door policy” and “I’ll take care of it”. In most cases, your intent is pure. You really do think your employees are important (but then you are asked to make a tough budget cut). And you really do mean to take care of that employee’s request (but before you can get to it, your attention is forced somewhere else and that request is forgotten). It’s hard to be consistent but you can’t afford to say and do two different things.

#3 I have no idea where we are going.
There is no such thing as standing still. Either you are moving forward or backward. For many teams, too often it feels like we’re just spinning our wheels. Activities don’t produce results and the same meetings and issues occur week after week. Want to really frustrate your team? Don’t provide a look into the future. And better yet, don’t focus on any progress moving forward.

So there you have it. Three sure-fire ways to not only frustrate your team, but eventually lose them. Now the real question – are any of these tactics tripping you up? The good news…they don’t have to!

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