Passing The Buck

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Why you asking me?

Any problem in an organization is owned by the highest ranked person who knows about it.  If you’re the boss, that means you.  If you know about it, it’s your problem.  Don’t confuse Passing The Buck with delegating.  If you delegate properly, you are still accountable for the task, activity, or responsibility assigned.

Losing Your Cool

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Cool. Very cool.

Perhaps Kipling said it best:  “If you can keep your head while all about you are losing theirs…”

Show that you’ve “lost it”, and your authority is seriously undermined.   When things get stressful, remember Michael Caine’s advice:  “Be like a duck.  Calm on the surface but paddling like dickens underneath”.


Never whinge, carp, bellyache, bitch, moan, nag, lament, fuss, accuse, protest, whine, yammer, grouse, grumble, whimper, bewail, or gripe downwards, or even sideways.  If you must rant, do it with a trusted mentor behind closed doors or in an out of town pub.

Prevaricating (aka, Bull@#$%ting)

Photograph by Alexander Gardner
Honest Abe

Abraham Lincoln:  “You can fool some of the people, some of the time, but you can’t fool all of the people all of the time”.  And why would you want to?  Honesty is the Queen of virtues (Independence is King, in case you were wondering), and absolutely essential if you want to be respected as a leader, and for that matter, as a human.  Nobody likes a liar, and the truth will always out.


Procrastinating is often a sign of fear;  never a good thing in a leader.  As an organizational leader, people look to you for decisiveness, and rely on you to get things done.  If you don’t deliver, sooner, rather than later, they’ll be questioning whether they should be following your lead.  Indeed, if you are a habitual procrastinator, you’ll not be providing much of a lead to follow at all.

Being Rude
Or a weak woman’s…

So many managers abuse their rank by being rude to “subordinates”.  Nothing will lose you respect quicker.  This is my number one peeve in organizational dynamics.  If you can’t be civil and polite; can’t speak to someone as though you were meeting them for the first time and your mother was by your side, better don’t speak.  And if you happen to be on the end of a boss’s rudeness, remember this:  habitually rude people are insecure, unhappy, and a little bit pathetic.  Don’t let their weakness bring you down.

16Apr13 Update:

Gordon over at “Leadership Principles” has a short post on what happens when bosses are no good.  People leave bosses, not companies.  Are you causing good assets to abandon ship?