Organizational Health: Curing Crippling Leadership Behaviors

Organizational health update: How to cure crippling leadership behaviors.

Poor leadership behaviors can cripple the very health of your organization and the development of your future leaders. Such crippling leadership behaviors include bullying, being a “control freak,” and letting problems go on too long.

If any of these describe you or your leaders, there are some quick methods to make sure you find a cure.

3 Methods That Work

Here are three methods for curing crippling leadership behaviors that jeopardize organizational health and the bottom-line.

“Break” the Bullies

With horses, the term “broken” describes a horse that can be ridden. The danger in breaking a horse is in squashing its spirit instead of just it’s bad habit of bucking off a rider. With leaders the risk is similar.

Most bullies, believe it or not, are simply passionate and afraid.

The passionate leadership behavior gets stronger when they feel someone stands in the way of accomplishing their goal. The fear creates stress if their insecure about how they’re seen or perceived. Both create protective measures and defenses designed to hide the fears.

Harness the passion and give them guidelines.

Tell them what behavior is okay and not okay and give strong and consistent consequences for the latter. If they refuse to change they may not be willing to be part of a team and may not be a good fit for your organization.

L2L Discussion Please Vote

Keep Calm

It’s the leadership behavior of worry that creates the stress that ignites the control and makes them seem difficult and overly bold.

Control freaks worry:

  • They worry others won’t get things done.
  • They worry others won’t do it right.
  • They worry what others will think if they don’t get it right or do well enough.

Reassuring them might not work, but keeping your cool will help you. Then help them to find and use all the right tools and help by surrounding them with incredibly calm and talented co-workers like you.

Hold Leaders Accountable

Any human being, in the absence of consequences or rewards, will do whatever is easiest.

Leaders, managers, and supervisors are no different.

If there are no consequences for never finding the time to address a team problem or problem employee, this leader will quickly earn a reputation for being a pushover. The high performing employees will start to leave and the problem team members will see they have free rein to do as they please.

Find a way to instill a rapid response to the leader who refuses to address issues. Maybe his bonus is impacted, her review score reduced, his promotion delayed, or her team vacancies are frozen. A lack of action must result in a lack of reward in order to initiate accountability.

Healthy organizations tend to experience healthy profits even in tough times, but it’s the leadership behaviors that can make or break that bottom line.

So what type of methods have you seen being successful to stop crippling leadership behaviors? Have you had a “knucklehearted” boss that just didn’t seem “to get it?” What did you do about it? Are your leadership behaviors crippling the health of your organization? I would love to hear your thoughts!


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Monica Wofford
Monica Wofford
, CSP, is CEO of Contagious Companies, Inc.
She serves her clients by getting business results and ROI for training functions
Email | LinkedIn | Twitter | Web | Office 1.866.382.0121

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L2L Contributing Author


  1. keith Arendall on July 10, 2013 at 6:54 pm

    The statement, “Any human being, in the absence of consequences or rewards, will do whatever is easiest” is not accurate. Many people are placed in a position to influence the efforts of others precisely because they are intrinsically motivated. They excel because they are driven by their own sense of pride or integrity or some other internal force that makes them the right person to be in a leadership position.

  2. Rick Lochner on July 15, 2013 at 8:54 am

    These are quick ways to address poor behavior, but they address the symptoms (behaviors), not the cause (attitude). If we are truly committed to creating a sustainable leadership environment (and we all must be), then we need to get to the heart of the matter and address what causes the behavior, not just make it calm in the moment.

  3. ramakrishnan6002 on May 8, 2014 at 7:32 am

    Reblogged this on Gr8fullsoul.