7 Leader-Leeches Who Drain Everyone
Leeches have suckers at both ends.
Britannica says there are 650 species of leeches.
#1. Busy leader-leeches
- Always in a hurry. (Related to the dreaded squirrel-leech.)
- Complete low-priority items and delay what really matters.
- Favorite expression: “Let’s get these small things out of the way.” (Sometimes a useful approach, but not when it’s avoidance.)
- Often feel under-appreciated.
#2. Urgency leader-leeches
- Everything’s a crisis. (Cousin to the Drama Leech.)
- Can’t see the big picture.
- Need you to drop everything to solve their ‘emergency’.
- Need a crisis to make them feel important.
#3. Helpful leader-leeches
- Sulk when you reject their help.
- Improve the work of others. Nothing is good enough for helpful leeches.
- Think they’re adding value, but they’re in the way.
- End up taking over.
#4. Decision leader-leeches
- Rethink every decision after it’s made.
- Need 100% certainty before moving forward.
- Favorite question: “Will it work?”
- Prefer the devil they know over the devil they don’t know.
#5. Attention leader-leeches
- Can’t perform daily ‘mundane’ responsibilities.
- Resent it when someone receives praise and they don’t.
- Talk too long and say too little.
- Interrupt when others are talking.
#6. Permission leader-leeches
- Seek constant affirmation. (Closely related to Time Leeches.)
- Can’t move forward unless someone else is responsible for failure.
- Wait for instructions and complain when they aren’t told what to do.
- Favorite expressions: “I was waiting for …,” Or, “They didn’t get back to me.”
#7. Energy leader-leeches
- Always do what’s best for themselves.
- Get excited about their projects, but can’t support others.
- Need constant encouragement, but don’t encourage others.
- Backstab people who feel threatening to them.
Solving the leech-leader problem:
Compromise with a leech always ends the same.
- Prepare for a leechectomy.
- Give direct in-the-moment feedback. Leeches have low self-awareness.
- Explore how they might improve. Design specific behaviors, not theories.
- Tell them what you need from them, if #3 doesn’t work.
- Establish short deadlines for improvement. (Essential)
What strategies might solve a leader-leech problem?
How many types of leader-leeches have you seen?