3 Questions that Identify Deadweight
Generous leaders fight avoidable battles. I’m all for big hearted leadership, but confusion concerning generosity creates catastrophe.
No one loves serving small hearted leaders who…
- Advantage themselves and disadvantage others.
- Practice cotton-candy-integrity. It looks fruitful but sprouts decay.
- Make demands and evade personal accountability.
- Obsess about perks and neglect people.
- Protect status and horde authority.
Big hearted leaders:
If you seek big hearted leadership, ask yourself, “How are people’s lives made better when I show up?”
Generous leaders show up to serve, not be served. Community advantage eclipses individual advantage.
Big hearted leaders create distractions self-serving leaders avoid.
Distractions generous leaders create:
Distraction is doing the next pressing thing all day. But pressing issues blind you to destructive patterns. It seems you’re doing what’s best, but battle fields multiply.
Big hearted leaders multiply battle fields when they tolerate poor performance too long. You work too hard and too long trying to elevate dead weight. Hope destroys you.
Catastrophe follows generosity when you give time and energy to low-aspiration people. They might say they want to grow but they haven’t changed in months. Still you hope.
Hope multiplies battle fields when you adapt to low aspiration people.
Your first responsibility is to advantage others, but not at the expense of deadweight.
- Are you having the same conversation over and over? That’s deadweight.
- Are you working harder than they are? That’s deadweight.
- Are you trying new things while they do the same things? That’s deadweight.
Generosity is catastrophe when you consistently take on deadweight.
Tip: Someone who is deadweight in your organization might thrive in another. Set them free.
High performers cheer when you remove obstacles to success.
How might leaders identify and jettison people who hold your team back?
What are your suggestions when you don’t have authority to deal with poor performers?
4 Ways to Deal with Deadweight
Bailing Water and Plugging Holes
How To Deal With a Deadweight Employee
Leaders need the courage and willingness to hold people accountable and confront poor performers. (Work isn’t getting done and /or company values aren’t being followed.)
If coaching and candid feedback doesn’t work, it’s time for discipline–verbal warning. written warning, final written warning, discharge.
Receiving a verbal or written warning is a wake up call for most people. However as you said Dan, some people you have to set free to thrive elsewhere.
If you lack “position power” and are dealing with deadweight, I think the best approach is to ask question forcing the person to see what they are doing (or not doing) and how it is impacting the team.
As always Paul, your insights are helpful. Perhaps one way to determine if it’s time to set them free is the rate of progress they are making. Is the rate of progress acceptable? Will they get where they need to be in a timely way? If yes, coach, encourage, give them time and energy. If no, send them to a competitor.
I agree–the rate of progress is a good metric. A lot of managers give the non-performer 30 days to complete a specific assignment. If they don’t get it done, they’re set free or fired.