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Face The Challenge - Sample Section, Chapter 16

Chapter Sixteen - Negative Leadership Behaviors

"Negative Behaviors" assesses a great multitude of unproductive leadership failings or behavior that are commonly demonstrated by failing Leaders; with the objective that increased awareness of such interactive failings or negative behaviors is the first step toward eliminating or improving them. Also discussed is a proven method for correcting and improving certain negative leadership practices and removing these failings from a Leader's day-to-day behaviors.



16.1 Negative Leadership Behaviors.  Negative leadership behaviors outnumber positive leadership behaviors by such a multiple as to defy enumeration and sometimes even the imagination.  Negative leadership behaviors also transmit clear and convincing signals to everyone associated with an inexpert Leader as to his or her personal inadequacies, character flaws, or lack of technical competence.  For inept leadership practices are nearly impossible to conceal; and mindful leadership novices can learn almost as much about leadership from observing the impact of an ineffective Leader as they can from a mentor who is exceptionally gifted.  And though nearly all Subordinates, peers, or superiors can recognize inadequate Leaders over an extended period (e.g., three to six months), more astute observers can generally identify them much sooner on and with far less direct or circumstantial evidence.  Fortunately, the same negative behavioral characteristics that are readily evident to others may also be readily identified by Leaders themselves in an effort toward self-improvement.  However, Leaders cannot responsibly depend upon their Subordinates, peers, or even their superiors to bring their unproductive conduct to their attention; and those who must either be spanked or wait until an interactive crisis emerges to change their errant ways actively court disaster; as well as continually evoke strong feelings of hostility or resentment from their Subordinates.  Typically the more reprehensible the Leader's behavior or the higher his or her supervisory echelon, the less likely anyone is to mention it; and the more likely he or she is to irreverently ignore adverse criticism.  Thus to avoid the inevitable pitfalls of destructive leadership practices, Leaders must learn to monitor their own behavior and seek to improve themselves through further education and a greater awareness of the pivotal impact that they can have on their Subordinates' morale level.  For it is another no-brainer to conclude that Subordinates are not going to treat the organization's customers or one another any better than they themselves are treated by their immediate supervisor or senior management (J. Donnelly, CC p97).  As basically what these wretchedly bad, misdirected, contemptible, mean-spirited, vile, abusive, incompetent, low-life, dirty, rotten, leadership scoundrels do—whether the organization meets its fiscal goals or not—is to rob all those concerned of the personal exhilaration and achievement satisfaction that they might otherwise have derived from a more constructive work environment.

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