13 dumb ways to die (or at least to kill the leadership spark)

Inspired by Metro’s clever ‘be safe around trains’ campaign, here are 13 dumb ways to kill the leadership spark of a new leader.

1.   Throw her in at the deep end and assume she will learn on the job, just like you did.
2.   Up the ante by reinforcing the myth that ‘leaders must have all the answers’.
3.   Promote her from within the team and to encourage her to remain friends with those she must now lead.
4.   Role model self-sufficiency – leaders must never admit vulnerability nor ask for help!
5.   When she asks for your help, tell her what to do. It’s much quicker than supporting her to find her own solutions!
6.   Don’t bother explaining to her that the rules that have changed and she’s now playing a new game. She will work it out for herself eventually.
7.   Keep her focused on building her technical skill. ‘Soft skills’ are not needed here.
8.   Don’t waste your precious time on feedback – she probably knows how well she’s doing anyway.
9.   Remind her that ‘her own work’ needs to get done, as well as the distracting stuff she needs to do to lead the team.
10. Be vague about what you want her to achieve, and how she and her new team will be measured.
11. Communicate with her in the way that works best for you.
12. Make sure she knows her place. After all, you don’t want her good ideas to show you up.
13. Encourage her to believe that because she has been successful to get to this point, her success in the future requires more of the same.

To say that this list comes entirely from my imagination is unfortunately untrue! I have seen all of these crimes committed – thankfully not all by the one leader.

When have you been guilty of killing (or at least suffocating) a leadership spark? What could you be doing better to support a new leader?

I’d love your comments, and your suggestions of other ‘dumb ways to kill the leadership spark of a new leader’. Leave your comments below.

Have an Extraordinary day

With thanks to Metro’s clever ‘be safe around trains’ campaign. If you haven’t seen the video or heard the catchy lyrics click here for the 3.01 minute experience.