How To Recognize Bad Leaders That Isolate Themselves

…Como se pueden reconocer los lideres malos que aislarse?

(para la versión en español, hacer clic aquí)

Isolation Can be BadThis is 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.

Habits 3 and 4 really are about leaders who isolate themselves…

Bad habit #3:  Leaders think they have all the answers

Warning Sign:  A leader without followers

Bad habit #4:  Leaders ruthlessly eliminate anyone who isn’t completely behind them

Warning Sign:  Executive departures

Vocabulary:  To isolate is to reduce or elimate the connections to something. The idea of isolating or isolation is not always bad.  Isolation is good when you need to think without distraction tempoarily. But permanent isolation is bad. Would you want to be isolated from your friends and family forever?

Walter White was cutthroat, he was the danger

The face of a ruthless man from TV Series Breaking Bad

Acting ruthlessly is acting coldly or without caring about others.  Sometimes we say someone ruthless is ‘cutthroat.’  The TV series Breaking Bad, a great series to practice your listening, featured several  characters acting coldly or ruthlessly.

If you are not behind someone or something, you do not support or agree with them.  For example, President Santos is not behind Hugo Chavez but he is behind the legalization of marijuana. (Seriously, read about it here.)

An Isolated King is in Trouble

When you don't listen, you are on your own

Habit 3, the idea: If leaders think they have all the answers they do not listen to others.  Maybe they hear what others say but stubbornly disagree because they believe they are right. We call this a ‘know it all‘.  Who wants to be around that type of person? They isolate themselves unintentionally or without wanting or intending to.

Habit 4, the idea: Leaders that eliminate anyone that disagrees with them do not want internal opposition. They want people that agree with them.  So they make people leave by firing them or forcing them to quit. Clearly habit 4 is an intentional habit of someone that wants to isolate themselves.

Bush had Yes Men behind him

Bush Was Slow... to Recognize Mistakes

These type of leaders show up in politics.  Often political leaders remove dissenting or disagreeing opinions from their ‘inner circle‘ or small group of trusted advisors and supporters. The problem with removing dissenting opinions is that one only surrounds themself with ‘yes men‘ or people that never disagree.  You don’t get good feedback and you become slow to recognize mistakes.

Learning English in isolation or without good feedback is a slow way to learn a language.  Find yourself a good institute with great teachers like Bogota Business English.


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