“Killing With Kindness” As A Cultural Strategy?
*Before you write a comment about not being understanding,
please read disclaimer at the bottom of the post!
Let’s have some #realtalk here for a minute. We have all had bad bosses. How we respond matters. How we inform our bosses boss about what is going on matters even more. Before we get to any of that though, we first have to evaluate whether our boss is acting in alignment with how other leaders act (a.k.a. the culture of the organization) or if it is outside the norm.
This is huge. If the leader says one thing about the culture, but is acting and/or allowing others to act in contrary or subversive ways to the stated culture, you won’t have a foot to stand on when approaching the leader with your grievances.
If this is where you find yourself, I would recommend you start looking for a company with a healthy culture ASAP. (I would be happy to recommend a few in the Cincinnati area that are hiring.)
If you are the leader who doesn’t understand why younger, talented people keep leaving your company, or worse, staying but becoming disengaged and underperforming, you probably have much bigger culture problems than you are willing to accept while reading a 5 minute blog post on Medium. Why don’t you give me a call and we can get coffee if you are in the southwest Ohio region or FaceTime if you’re not. I’ll even buy.
If you are the leader, and have some people on your team that are toxic high performers (execute at a high level, but treat people badly while they do it), have you tried killing them with kindness? Or worse, suggested those that report to them try that? Lets talk about why that is not going to work out well for you, as I am sure you are beginning to realize by now.
When we as leaders allow someone to treat anyone on the team poorly, we are setting the culture. When we as leaders overlook poor leadership in ourselves and our managers without addressing it, we are setting the culture. When incompetent people who micromanage or mismanage their teams are praised publicly in the organization for their or their team’s performance, we set the culture.
What we DO is our culture. Period.
After awhile, all the signs on the wall and the staff meeting talks about what we say our culture is supposed to be simply don’t matter. The culture is set by what we are doing, not by what we are saying, and while this may seem like common sense, it is shocking how many brilliant leaders aren’t connecting the dots here.
The concept that one can kill toxic managers with kindness and expect good things to happen is somehow still viewed as a a good strategy by some.
Just to be real clear, it’s not.
So, you think you may struggle with some of these issues? No worries, you are not alone! Past mistakes don’t have to equal current or future failure. Let’s talk about how we can work together to start to turn things around. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or text me at 513–808–1437.
*DISCLAIMER: This is not a discussion on how to personally treat other people you meet. Please understand that this is in the context of an organizational culture where leadership has a choice in setting the tone for what behavior is acceptable and what is not. I am all about loving others, especially those who treat you poorly. I am a firm believer in the “hurt people hurt people” ideology and encourage everyone to react with love and understanding to those who wrong you in public, private or anywhere else.