Choices with Bad Business Leaders

…Las opciones para los lideres malos de empresas

(para la version española haz clic acá)

Failure is a Choice

Eric Jackson wrote a great article on bad business leader habits. He asks what habits seem common in executives that fail.  In his closing remarks he says we have a choice as leaders to avoid failure and choose success. Or if the leadership of your company has these habits, you should start looking for a new job!

This is the first part of the 7 habits of bad business leaders series.  Check out the other parts here. The purpose of the series is to break down the English language in Eric Jackson’s Forbes article for non-native speakers.

The first habits are both about pride and ego…

Bad habit # 1:  They see themselves and their companies as dominating their environment

Warning sign: A lack of respect

Bad habit # 2:  They identify so completely with the company that there is no clear boundary between their personal interests and their corporation’s interests

Warning sign:  A question of character

Rodney Dangerfield Got No Respect

A lack of respect = no respect

Vocabulary: Showing a lack of respect is when one does not display common courtesies  to others. You are not a nice person.

To identify with someone is to understand their situation or motives. To identify with something is to feel connected to something.  When you identify with something so completely there is no clear boundary, you belive you are the something and the something is you.  For example, Judge Dredd believed he was the law…

A question of character is the questioning of someone’s nature or character or a growing belief that someone is untrustworthy.

Bad Habit #1, the idea: Because business leaders may excel or do very well at something, their may ego grow very big and they may believe that their greatness in one area applies to everything.  In colloquial English, they have a ‘big head’ or feel they can do no wrong.  They are overconfident in their abilities and usually think they deserve more than others.

Great Player, Bad Coach

Maradona has a big head

Think Maradona. A great, great football player that because of his abilities on the pitch thought he could be a great coach.  He went into coaching with little experience, at the national level for Argentina and struggled (vocally or loudly confirmed on facebook).  He also  showed a lack of respect to others, including a strained relationship with players and the people that hired him.

Bad Habit #2, the idea: (**NB: If the business leader is also the owner then this doesn’t apply very well.  You could say the owner is the company.)

The idea is that a business leader begins to use company assets or belongings that were not assigned to him because he feels he has worked very long or done a lot with the company that he ‘owns’ it.  The belongs that he uses could be real like a car or virtual assets like its public image. An example with virtual assets could be that a leader makes very vocal or loud accusations against a politician while identifying himself as part of the company. Rarely is it good for a company to be involved directly in politics!! When leaders believe they are the company, it may be time to look for a new job.

English is quickly becoming a required skill for new jobs. Don’t get trapped under a Maradona because you’re lacking English skills. Bogota Business English can help you!

Interested in the other habits of bad leaders? Read the rest of the series.


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