10 Ways to Spot Dead-weight Before it’s too Late

Teams thrive and rise when you ditch dead-weight.

“[Will] Felps estimates that teams with just one deadbeat, downer, or asshole suffer a performance disadvantage of 30 to 40 percent compared to teams that have no bad apples.” (Bob Sutton in Good Boss Bad Boss.)

Dead-weight isn’t:

#1. People who screw up.

A consistent screw up requires intervention. But those who try new things fail the most. Is your screw up an innovator or a slacker?

#2. People with weaknesses.

The whole point of an organization is to maximize strengths and compensate for weakness. (Drucker)

Any team member who doesn’t have weaknesses either lacks self-awareness or has intentionally pulled the wool over your eyes.

#3. People who need growth and development.

When you exclude people who need to grow, you exclude everyone.

Dead-weight is:

#1. People who’ve arrived.

People who don’t embrace personal growth hold teams back. If you don’t want to be dead-weight, ask yourself what new skill or attribute you will test drive today.

#2. People who cozy up with the status quo.

The best team players pursue excellence.

A “good enough” person limits team potential.

#3. People who put personal interests ahead of team success.

Team success is your success.

#4. People who don’t share your values.

#5. People who expect others to adapt to them but refuse to adapt to others.

#6. People who focus more on weakness than strength.

#7. People who joined the team out of obligation, not passion. (Assuming there was a choice.)

#8. People who are overbooked.

#9. People who lack emotional intelligence.

Dead-weight can’t see how they drain energy from others.

Emotional intelligence (EQ) is twice as important as IQ and technical skill for jobs at all levels. (HBR)

#10. People who obstruct as a matter of habit.

Find a way to exclude or jettison anyone who refuses to acknowledge and improve issues that hold teams back.

What forms of dead-weight have you seen?

How might leaders navigate the dead-weight challenge?

Bonus material:

You Never Bring Out Someone’s Best by Making Them Feel Inadequate (Leadership Freak)

5 Types of People You Don’t Want in Your Team (Medium)

7 Reasons Why Your Team Can’t Work as a Team (Talent Management)