7 ways to avoid becoming a leader

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Lee Iaccoca. Peter F. Drucker. Colin Powell. They’ve all influenced a generation of executives to improve and excel in business. So, it would seem, if you want to be a good leader, follow in the footsteps of the greats.

Conversely, one way to not become a leader is to do just the opposite of their advice – things losers embrace, you might say. In my years, I’ve observed at least 7 ways to not become a leader.

  1. Show up late. I don’t know what it is about bosses wanting employees to show up, but most of them want them to arrive on-time and ready to work. After all, it’s not easy getting up, getting ready, commuting to work, checking in and being productive. In fact, you have the WHOLE DAY to be productive, so why start so early? Instead, let’s take slow and easy. No need to rush this day. Always late but worth the wait. That’s not you, right?
  2. Complain. If things need to be said, we’ve got to get it out there. We’re bold. We’re brave. If we don’t say them, who will? Not “Shy Shawn” over there (made-up name). And why stop at pointing out one mistake? Let’s talk about more. Let’s clean this place up. From your view, it needs to improve, and you’re fully equipped to point that out.
  3. Miss deadlines. I’m pretty sure deadlines are a man-made concoction, and, frankly, it’s messing with our lives. I’m here, you might think. I’m at work. Let’s just have fun. Life’s short. Projects come and projects go, but jocularity in the halls, that’s what we will remember. Surely, bosses won’t mind, correct?
  4. Only do what you’re told. Easy to do this one. They’re piling SO MUCH on you that you have to draw the line somewhere. How about here? If asked, “Why didn’t you do this report?” the answer could be, “You didn’t ask.”
  5. Don’t delegate. Who needs others? You GOT this. Better. Faster. Smarter. After all, delegation can slow down the process because you a) explain the task; b) assign the task; c) wait for the task to get done; and d) review the task, only to find it’s not what you expected. Which all leads to you having to do it yourself. (What’s the saying? If you want it done right, do it yourself.)
  6. Do nothing to improve skills. Once you claimed your college degree (you DID finish, didn’t you?), that was pretty much it. It should be, some say, because of the thousands of dollars spent to get that college degree. Now it’s time to implement it and to SWT (Stop Wasting Time) reading more, absorbing more, learning more, applying what you’ve learned. You’ve studied. Succeeded. Now it’s time for others to stand in awe, right?
  7. Be a solo star. If you’re true to #5 above, this will be easy, natural. The band Earth, Wind & Fire made a huge hit with, “Shining star for you to see, what your life could truly be.” That fits in the workplace, too, right? They provide a workstation for you. A computer. A phone. All signals point to you. Why not claim the rewards for you? The concept of “team” is so last job. After all, how will you ever shine for the boss if you have to share the spotlight with others?

Many more steps could be added, but if you really want to succeed in not being a leader, start with these.

By tim brown
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