6 “Culture Killers” Leaders Must Avoid

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What you allow, you encourage.

In leadership, this nugget of truth is especially true when it comes to the building of a healthy culture.

When the leader allows fun, candor, initiative and diligence, those qualities will be encouraged to flourish.

Similarly, when you allow Culture Killers like grumbling, selfishness and laziness, so too are you encouraging these to take root and grow.

A highly respected leader I know once put it this way; “Some people seem to bring so much negativity to the team, it’s like they think it’s part of their job description.”

With that in mind, I have envisioned what the titles and job descriptions might really look like for those people who might be your Culture Killers. Here are a few that might top your list-

1. Chairman of the That’ll Never Work Committee

Also known as the We’ve Tried That Before Task Force. A real momentum killer.

2. That’s Not in my Job Description Supervisor

Personal boundaries are good and healthy. But when they slide into this role it will feel like your team is swimming in peanut butter.

3. Lead Self-Promotions Strategist

You can spot these people anywhere. Because they somehow always make sure the spotlight is on themselves.

4. The Clock Says It’s Time to Go Home Coordinator

Often works closely with the That’s Not in my Job Description Supervisor. You’re not looking for workaholics or perfectionists; just people who are committed to getting the job done.

5. Regional I’m In a Bad Mood Distributor

The long face. The heavy sigh. The snippy answers. This person wears a bad mood like a badge of honor and makes sure everyone on the team knows they’ve had a bad day. And they can quickly kill your culture.

6. Local I Have Issues Manager

Into every life a little misfortune must fall. But this person wallows in their personal drama and attempts to draw the rest of the team into their tale of woe. Everyone is deserving of sympathy and support. But incessant drama will weary your team.

When a leader allows any of these titles and behaviors to creep into the team they are, in effect, encouraging their continuation.

So keep a vigilant watch for anyone who might assume one of these roles, and take action when they appear.

Because what you allow, you encourage.

the author

Scott Cochrane

Vice President- International, Willow Creek Association. Love Jesus, Nora, Adam & Robin, Amy, Dave & Willow and John, Fiona & Will. Lifelong learner.

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