I love April Fool’s Day and even though it has passed for this year, I want to share one sort of humor that is appropriate for this special day. No one likes practical jokes and being made fun of, so I find that a great way to relieve stress in a way that gets people laughing is to be irreverent. Irreverence is honored because it allows people to take the pomposity out of stressful situations that can be hard and overly dramatic. I call it “being sardonic.”
In fact, I love ironical and irreverent humor so much that I created an entire blog around it! You now know why I chose this title.
Those of you who have followed me for a while know that I am a positive, upbeat person who delivers good ideas and sound advice. For this article, I will do the opposite and deliver bad advice, which if you take to heart, I guarantee that your employees will be your fans and always support you.
My Good Advice
A very good way to ensure that your employees will always be honest, transparent, and forthright is for you to always Be the Victim. There are two ways that you can accomplish this easily.
Play the Blame Game™!
Whenever things go wrong, be sure that you throw one of your employees under the bus even when you are the cause of the problem! As soon as the rest of your employees see you do this, they will always volunteer, take risks, and share all the bad news with you.
Shirk Your Responsibility!
Every employee wants to work for a boss who takes no responsibility for anything such as the quality of their work, the words they say, the promises they make, and the quality of their work and decisions.
Yes, being the boss is hard work, so one of the best ways to reduce your burden is simply to not do the things that you promise and take the path of least resistance all day every day.
If you do these two things regularly, I promise that you will get kudos and high praise from each and every one of your employees. Best of all, you might get promoted into senior management very quickly.
Your employees are human and have feelings so why not get them to feel scared whenever you are around. Do this by being cruel whenever you can. Select pet nicknames for each one that highlight an imperfection or a uniqueness. Nicknames like, “Slim,” Four eyes,” Short stuff,” and “Dog breath” will accomplish that.
You can also instill fear by lashing out at someone for no reason. I had a boss who did this to me frequently in front of my coworkers by saying, “I cannot wait until I fire you!” That was 50 years ago, and I still remember “Mr. 300-pound gorilla.” Cruelty really works!
The crueler you are, the more you will be at top of mind, each time they interact with you.
The only safe pond is a shallow one, especially if you want to swim in the water.
You can be just like that safe pond, by proving beyond a doubt to your employees that you are very vain and make every conversation be about you. Be sure to place lots of mirrors and photos of yourself throughout your workspace.
Give yourself a cool nickname like “Supreme Commander” or “Bestest Leader Ever.”
Whenever chatting with an employee, be sure to tell them your story, and what you like, and what you have done with your life. Make sure each conversation has a 10/90 ratio so that 90% of the talk is about you. I’ve had many bosses who used this ratio so I know it must be the gold standard taught in leadership training.
This is the quickest way to get noticed as the weakest link, because when you lack a commitment to quality, everyone in the organization becomes aware of you and of those you lead. Quality really does not matter currently because today’s business leaders want everything cheaper, faster, and less precise. Many in charge of big organizations have their MBA. (M.B.A. stands for More Bottom-line Money)
By ensuring that everyone on your team is not committed to precision and quality, you all will have more time to do personal things while on the job. And of course, that is a dream of the newest generation of workers, and those who have already retired on the job: Get paid for doing nothing productive! Best of all, your best and brightest employees will leave to work for the competition.
Everyone knows who the most clueless person is in the room because that person is oblivious to other people’s opinions about them. So, another guaranteed way to ensure that everyone in the company knows your name and your position as the weakest link, is to be clueless to the needs of your customers and especially to those who rely on your work. Your employees will know that because you are clueless, they can get away with murder, so to speak. and everyone I know loves to work for a clueless boss.
As a child I was told often that “A liar never prospers.” But looking at today’s reality and news, liars actually become millionaires, own TV networks, and lead nations. I guess my parents had it wrong.
The easiest part of telling lies, to prove that you’re untrustworthy, is that with practice lies will roll off your tongue. The hardest part is that you have to remember all those untruths, but that’s where using others as scapegoats helps you out. So does never putting any commitment in writing. Make sure the commitments that you make to your team and to those you work for are always verbal so that you can use the excuse, “You misunderstood what I said.”
Fail to Deliver
Don’t you just hate it when your Amazon package does not arrive on the specific date and time window that was promised. You get frustrated and gripe all day about how untrustworthy Amazon is. See – it works!
Everyone enjoys working for a boss who does not meet their commitments because it is a perfect excuse to quit or to file a lawsuit against their former employer. Today, there are so many people and organizations that fail to deliver on their promises, it is everyone’s expectation, so you will be on the leading edge of current trends.
There is nothing a leader loves more than to see the members of their team bicker and argue with one another. Do this and it will both warm your heart and create amusement for you all throughout the day.
This technique will inevitably lead to the infighting you desire. Make sure that you let employees know that you have your favorites. It also helps to say to employee Jeff, “You are my best employee. It is too bad that John and Jill and Jane are such terrible employees.” Quickly, Jeff will lord this over the rest of your team and chaos ensues.
As you can tell from my sardonic tone, I worked for untrustworthy leaders like I describe here. I graduated from the Leadership School of Hard Knocks!
You Are No One’s Fool!
My overall intention for this article is to lead you to this question:
“Do you treat your employees with dignity and respect?”
I would bet your answer is “yes.” I will also wager that you do the opposite of everything I suggest here, and you show your people that you care about them. Do one thing each day that lets them know how much you appreciate them as individuals, and as a member of your team. Every time you do a small thing to show them that you care, you build up a tremendous amount of goodwill, which leads to employee loyalty and a reputation as a great boss.
To always be a good leader you must regularly enhance your skills, just like you tune up your car. I offer a tremendous menu of leadership solutions, and I would love to brainstorm with you what can help you become the best leader that you can be.
Ron Rael Leadership Provocateur, is a keynote speaker, consultant, and author.
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