Creative Leadership

The Trickle Down Effect in Leadership

Like it or not, leadership trickles down. While some employees have the strength and integrity to overcome bad leadership, far too often, a leader’s style becomes the style of his managers and employees. I know one leader who carries a chip on his shoulder with everything he does. He doesn’t trust vendors, consultants, or employees. He is a bully. He doesn’t send email messages, he sends email threats. As a result, I get calls from some of his employees on a monthly basis fearing for their jobs.

Sadly, because he’s the leader, his team has adapted to his style. Even low level employees try to push around vendors, and treat consultants and customers alike with contempt.

Remember that as a leader, people are mirroring your actions. Lead well, and your team will follow that model.  But it works both ways – become a bully, threaten people, or yell, and your team will follow that lead as well.

And remember – when you train your team to use muscle instead of inspiration and motivation, it’s only a matter of time before someone muscles you out.

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  1. Don’t forget paranoid, mistrusting, etc. Keeping lists of others failures to use against them. Suspicious. Willing to spin the facts.

    I’ve seen all these behaviors become part of the corporate culture because the leader set the example.

  2. This not only happens with business but also with families. The less dominate spouse and the children will take on the negative features of the dominate spouse until nothing is positive.

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