Question: How do you slowly kill off the people who work for you?
Answer: Turn your direct reports into pessimists.
Do this, and you will eventually succeed in creating a culture where each person has a fully developed lack of self-esteem.
Perhaps there are some of you who are reading this and saying, “Yes, this is the kind of control I want and need!” Well, let me help you move as quickly and effectively as you can toward the destruction of your culture.
You must sharpen your skills with these seven steps:
1. Find fault with your employees, eliminating any appreciation for the small things they do.
2. Become proficient at nitpicking.
3. Practice the fine art of sarcasm. Perfect this art.
4. Frequently remind each employee that they owe you something. Be specific about what they owe you so there is no room for doubt. This will cause them to be frustrated, angry, and resentful. Once you have this in place, let them “stew on it.” Allow them to become their own worst enemy.
5. Reward employees when you see them distort the truth for their own gain. This creates mistrust among the team which you can build on.
6. Encourage them to be demanding in their work. You will know you are on the right track when you see the dissipation of gratitude.
7. Now, take it to the next level — show them how they can bring this demanding attitude into their personal lives.
Complete these seven steps with one person. Then repeat as needed. Get a solid coalition of like-minded people, train them and equip them, until they become your “apostles.” Reward them for being just like you by having them stay on without any regard to objective performance.
Do this, and I can make you the following guarantee: as a leader, you will be able to do whatever you want, whenever you want. And you will ensure a legacy of pessimism beyond your days of being a leader.
So what are you waiting for? Are you already down the road yourself? Or have I just defined the “cultural path” of your company?