5. You’re just a jerk if you keep the perks of leadership to yourself.
Leadership does have perks. Maybe you know some people other folks would love to connect with.
Maybe you get the nicer office or have a slightly bigger budget than others. Or people send you gift cards once in a while because you’re the boss man. Or you have a nice parking space (which you shouldn’t by the way…here’s why).
To stay a jerk, just make sure you never share anything with anyone. Keep it all to yourself. Whatever you do, don’t be generous.
6. You’re just a jerk if you keep yourself front and center.
If you’re a jerk leader, you think you’re so valuable to the organization (see point 1) that you do whatever it takes to be at the center of everything at all times.
You don’t develop young talent. You’re too insecure to share your platform with others. You never push other people into the spotlight. (Insecurity causes a lot of leadership problems by the way. Here are 5.)
You’re never going to retire anyway, or even if you do, it doesn’t really matter if the organization crumbles when you go, does it?
Besides, no one else on your team has dreams, gifts or hopes. Why would you pay attention to that?
Think about it: Great leaders don’t build platforms; they build people.
7. You’re just a jerk if you take the credit and assign the blame.
If you’re a jerk leader, there are two surefire ways to anger your team.
First, take all of the credit for anything good that happens in your organization.
Make sure you mention how it was your idea, and whatever you do, don’t mention your team or how hard they worked on the project.
Second, when things go off the rails, wash your hands of it. Look surprised and then appear concerned.
Blame something else.
Blame someone else.
Blame anything else.
You weren’t responsible anyway. Except for all of the good things, of course.
8. You’re just a jerk if you never have your team’s back.
Is there really any value in public loyalty? Didn’t think so.
If you want to alienate your team, speak poorly of them when they’re not in the room.
For example, when you disagree with a decision a team member made, make sure you tell anyone who will listen how much you disagreed with it.
And when someone complains to you about what a team member did, make sure you pull them aside and in hushed tones tell them how disappointed you were with their decision too, and that you don’t understand why they would do that.
For bonus points, never privately speak to the person with whom you disagree. Just smile when you see them.
Great leaders don’t always agree, but they always disagree privately behind closed doors and they support you publicly, no matter what. That builds a team.
As Andy Stanley says, great leaders realize that public loyalty buys you private leverage.
9. You’re just a jerk if you make all the decisions.
One sure sign of a jerk leader is that you infuriate other leaders on your team by personally making as many decisions as possible.
You never let them exercise their leadership gifts or become thinkers in their own right.
And when they do make decisions on their own, you meddle frequently.
You even pull out your pocket veto regularly. Especially if you’re acting on partial information and don’t have the whole story.
10. You’re just a jerk if you act like a martyr.
When your team is angry with you (as they should be), one sure sign you’ve moved to the jerk column is that you pull out the martyr card.
Nobody has it as hard as you do. True?
Nobody is as misunderstood.
I mean, who puts in as many hours for a thankless job? And who really understands you?
Nobody. Of course.
To keep jerk status, make sure you tell everyone how hard you work, how lonely leadership is and how you haven’t taken a vacation in X years.
Great leaders realize leadership has a cost, but they don’t expect others to share it. This is exactly why many people are willing to share the cost with a great leader.
The Jerk Inside Me
How do I know jerk leadership so well?
Because I have a jerk inside of me I need to suppress every day. My guess is you might too.
Fortunately, Jesus introduces a completely different paradigm for leadership.
If you want to be a Christ-like leader, just do the opposite of these 10 things. You’ll be well on your way.
And Christ promises to help you.
If you’re like me, it takes supernatural strength to lead in a Christ-like manner. But there’s no better way to lead a team (or your family).
Include Your Team on Decision Making
If you want to include your team on decision making and help them own the challenges before you, my last book (Lasting Impact: 7 Powerful Conversations That Will Help Your Church Grow) is 100 percent designed to facilitate team discussion and problem-solving on the biggest issues facing church leaders today.
Plus there’s even a full chapter on creating a healthy team.
Want to see a sample? Download a free chapter here.
What Do You Think?
What other characteristics of jerk leaders have you seen?
How is this battle at work in your life?