Leaders: Seventeen Ways To Screw-Up Your Career!



As someone who often was called upon to turnaround troubled operations or more recently to consult, sadly there continue to be predictable leadership behaviors exhibited by supposedly intelligent people that would always doom their leadership. Perhaps you are supervising someone with these traits that needs coaching or maybe you can spot some that you might even have fallen into a trap with. By waking up to them, we can take corrective action before it is too late.


1.  Continually displaying anger, impatience, and frustration.


2.  Being the “ice king or queen” – showing no concern for the humanness of those around you.


3.  Over-promising and under-delivering.


4.  Stealing credit and being quick to blame.


5.  Lack of integrity – not walking the talk. Includes greed and dishonesty.


6.  Treating others like children, subordinates, or drones. The best leaders don’t put people into boxes; they free them from boxes!


7.  Showing up as the swami or industry expert with all the answers and not inviting others to think and contribute.


8.  Creating fog and confusion rather than clarity.


9.  Arrogant hubris. Being dismissive—or worse, belittling opposing viewpoints.


10. Practicing seat-of-the-pants unpredictable decision-making, keeping your team off balance.


11. Changing the rules without telling anyone or playing favorites.


12. Engaging in “feed-attack” rather than feedback and not allowing freedom to fail.


13. Concealing from your team.


14. Playing the game: “This is my game or else.”


15.  Gossip or “bad-mouthing.”


16.  Having a personal agenda not in concert with the common good of the organization.


17. Not taking care of your own health and vitality.


Bonus Screw-Up:  It is the FAILURE TO GROW that really stifles careers on both a literal and figurative basis. I’ve witnessed so many that would be described as “experienced incompetents” with let’s say thirty years of experience. That actually translates to three years of experience repeated ten times!












2 Responses to “Leaders: Seventeen Ways To Screw-Up Your Career!”

  1. gary zagar

    I have never heard of you until a couple minutes ago and I read your 17 ways to screw up your career. Brilliant. I was a superintendent of a 36 hole facility in concord ohio called quail hollow. I maintained 36 holes that catered to members guests. Hotel rounds outings and basically anyone who had money at the end. It was a clubcorp ksl owned club. I was there for 19 years. Watched an 850 home neighborhood go in. Built one of the 18 hole course, a clubhouse, many in house greens, tees , and bunkers. Installed about 25 miles of drainage, have done architecture and have managed a staff of up to 50 and have lived it all in golf course maintenance. I took a job at a school three montha ago to keep myself sharp because the company put it between family and work as a choice. Took a big pay cut to do so. I wanted to be challenged by indoor maintenance and learn some new skills. Your 17 ways to screw up your career summed up everything I was thinking and how I went into the place. Wow. If your in Cleveland I would love to golf with you. Thank you for writing this piece. WOW. Should I write a book about being a superintendent I dont know if anyone has and I think every golferbwould be amazed. Anyway thanks for hear I ng my ramblings. Look forward to hearing from you if possible

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