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Scott Eblin offers his take on lessons in the news and his advice on your pressing leadership questions.

How Not to Be a Weenie Leader

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Earlier today, someone I care about a lot was the victim of weenie-like behavior from someone in a leadership role who should have known better. Unfortunately, weenies are all around us. You can recognize them by their unique combination of spineless and thoughtless behavior. That and their lack of nutritional value.

I doubt anyone starts out in life or even in a given day with the goal of being a weenie. And, yet, weenie-like behavior abounds. It’s enough to make you a little paranoid, actually. “Am I a weenie and just don’t know it?”

Who am I to say? For all I know, I’m a weenie too. Here, though, is a start on my list of behaviors that weenie leaders exhibit. How can you avoid being a weenie leader? Do the opposite of these things: 

  1. Make a date specific promise and then ignore it
  2. When called on that promise, act as if you didn’t make it
  3. Hide when you have to deliver bad news, or if hiding isn’t an option, send an email instead of having a conversation
  4. Disappear when the hard stuff has to be done
  5. Keep people waiting with no indication of when they might hear from you
  6. Set easier standards for yourself than you do for your team
  7. Ignore the rules by which the “little people” have to abide
  8. Treat people with more power better than you do those with less power
  9. View the world and people through the lens of who has more or less power
  10. Never fail to ask yourself, “What’s in it for me?”

Thanks for letting me get that off my chest. What would you add to the list of behaviors to avoid if you don’t want to be a weenie leader?

(Image via nito/Shutterstock.com)

Executive coach Scott Eblin’s goal is to help you succeed at the next level of leadership. Throughout the week, he’ll offer his take on the leadership lessons in the news and his advice on your most pressing leadership questions. A former government executive, Scott is a graduate of Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government and is the author of The Next Level: What Insiders Know About Executive Success.

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