Leadership Examples Not to Follow

When I was training new managers at Intel, I used to start off with one simple statement to kick off the training. “Let’s start with getting a piece of paper out and putting a T chart on it – label one side “G” and the other “B” . As we are walking through the training material. I want you to be thinking of leaders/managers that provide both the good and bad examples. Put a tick mark in the “G” when you have a positive example in mind. Put a tick in the “B” for those bad examples. We will revisit this at the end of the two days!

After day one – I would say how at the T Charts looking? Most trainee’s would laugh and say that they have more “B’s” than “G’s”. I would not ask anything more – just let that be as it is.

As we start off Day 2 – I would remind them of my opening statement yesterday about the good and bad examples. Keeping the exercise alive…

As we are wrapping up – I would ask for another how is it looking on the T Charts? We would total up the “G’s” and “B’s” and I would let the laughs and jokes continue. Once totaled, I would always ask the question about why is it easier to spot the “B’s” or bad leaders? The answers all centered on what the bad leaders did to them… It was personal and had effects that were amplified.

I ask them to narrow down that one thing that bad managers do that really hit home for them. The one that came out outnumbering the others was something we learned a long time ago in management 101 – As a leader – you give credit and take responsibility!

It is completely safe to say that we have political leadership that is anything short of real leadership. Right now, we have no one taking responsibility for anything that goes wrong. Our President spends a great deal of his taking responsibility as passing blame to others, pointing fingers at the system and deflecting the attention away from him. He does it with everything! Next up, he accepts credit well! Jobs reports, the economy and everything else that has been worked on long before he took office. When it is good news, it is because of him!

President Trump sort of has this leadership 101 thing backwards. Takes credit and points to others for the lack of success. This is exactly what I heard from my trainee’s about the bad leader examples they shared with me at the end of the training.

When I end the training session… It is with one last statement for them to work away with. He listened to the training, you participated in the exercises and you shared your thoughts. I asked to think of the good examples and the bad examples. Now as you go out to lead your teams. Make sure that you are following the good examples! Make sure that you never forget the bad examples… you will have to make sure that you NEVER do what they do.

I know President Trump will not read this. He probably never really understood leadership 101 about giving credit and taking responsibility. At least his real life examples are proving that he never really understood it! He is providing me more real life examples of what not to do! I will wait for the what to do example to share – if that ever happens. I can guarantee that I will not hold my breathe waiting…

Image via – Copyright: rmorijn / 123RF Stock Photo

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