Blindspot 4

How to Lose Friends and Infuriate People – By Michael Zigarelli

Want to be a really ineffective leader? Want to exasperate and exhaust your employees? Then look no further, my friend. Here are the 15 worst practices in leadership, guaranteed to pummel productivity, murder morale and trigger turnover. And here’s a freebie: Be sure to post these on your offce door as “New Policies” for all your employees to listen too.


  • When an employee is in your office to talk with you, don’t hesitate to answer your phone.
  • Take a week to respond to requests and queries from your employees. Hey, take two.
  • Criticize people in public. Don’t worry whether the criticism is blatant or tacit. It’ll have the same effect.
  • Permit inequities and conflict to persist among your employees. Remember that you’re way too important to deal with their petty tiffs.
  • Be stingy with your “thank you’s.” After all, they just make people think you should be paying them more money.
  • Pay people less than they’re worth. Give raises based on factors they can’t influence or, better still, based on their performance relative to one another.
  • Don’t smile when you say hello to employees. Better yet, don’t even say hello. A third option: if you must say hello, follow up with a “How ya doing?” and then look away before they answer.
  • Ask people to do work well outside of their job description.
  • Interpret all suggestions for improvement as personal attacks on your leadership.
  • Do your subordinates’ jobs for them. If that’s not attractive to you, though, dump all your work on them instead.
  • Give people the illusion of empowerment. Tell them they have control over a process and hold them accountable for the results, but then micro-manage the process to meet your predetermined ends.
  • Take credit for the good work your people do (and blame your department’s problems on their laziness and ineptitude).
  • Hold lots of meetings and make sure they have an unfocused agenda. Allow the conversation to meander aimlessly, permitting one tangential comment to give license to the next. Never cut off a rambling participant and, if anyone has a good idea, let that person assume responsibility for a new committee to pursue the idea. End the meeting with no action items.
  • When scheduled to meet with an employee or with a group of employees, be late. Sometimes very late. The meeting can’t start without you, right?
  • Never, never forget that you’re superior to your employees, and never doubt that you’re absolutely right. In doing so, you’ll be guaranteed to skilfully apply all the above secrets of success.


Michael Zigarelli is dean of Regent University School of Business, Virginia Beach, VA., and founding editor of Regent Business Review.


The #10 Principle: “Believing …………… the Best in People Usually the Best Out of People.” -Winning With People, John C. Maxwell


Leaders who value their people give them their …….. effort.


Leaders who devalue their people give them their ………. effort.


Leaders who value their people ……… their people.


Leaders who devalue their people want to be ………… by their people.


Leaders who value their people ……….. them.


Leaders who devalue their people ………… them.


Leaders who value their people ………… them.


Leaders who devalue their people them.