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Face The Challenge - Sample Section, Chapter 11

Chapter Eleven - Subordinate Interaction

"Subordinate Interaction" provides Leaders with leadership interaction practices to monitor their interactive behaviors, to understand the effects of poor or bad leadership interaction practices on employee morale, and thereby improve their leadership effectiveness through building stronger Subordinate relationships and avoiding both common and unconscious interaction errors that badly affect employee morale.


11.1 Bad Leadership Drives Out the Good.  Incompetent or mediocre Leaders dramatically curtail the growth of their Subordinates and either consciously or unconsciously cause good Subordinates to seek opportunities elsewhere; as "a poor top manager wants no 'threats' from higher quality Subordinates, so he [she] necessarily chooses Subordinates 'less good' then he [she]" (Fayol, GIM p33) and often fails miserably to motivate or promote those of superior talent.


Similarly, incapable, poorly motivated, or dispirited peers can help a motivationally apathetic Leader drive out their more proficient, highly energized, and ambitious counterparts by not providing the stimulation or camaraderie that such individuals invariably seek.  In addition, humdrum Leaders are almost genetically programmed to promote equally pallid Subordinates to supervisory positions; thus exacerbating the negative organizational impact of their inherent leadership flaws.  While inspirationally superior Leaders almost invariably hire and promote Subordinates of the highest caliber, and thereby greatly enhance their own potential output.


Conversely, the promotion of mediocre Subordinates sends a crystal clear message throughout the ranks as to what attributes, behaviors, or skills are most highly valued by upper management.  With those, who believe that they were more qualified than the junior-varsity player who was promoted, understandably having their aspirations dimmed; and often being prompted to send out their résumés and abandoning the seemingly sinking corporate ship whenever it suits them.  Thus if the individual promoted has not earned the respect of his or her peers or has a rather sparse list of achievements to his or her credit—regardless of their political popularity—the group's overall morale will suffer immeasurably due to such inopportune selection practices.  And again, those feeling that they were better qualified may become so disillusioned that their superior talent or creativity is lost to the organization whether they actually clean out their desks or not.


Consequently, it is much better to take the risk that whoever is promoted will drive everyone away with his or her high-charging, overbearing, results-oriented leadership manner; than to ensure that superior personnel will eventually leave in disgust anyway as a result of promoting individuals of inferior leadership stock.

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© Copyright 2006 by H. Garrett Hayward from Face the Challenge: The Leader's Success Handbook