Leading Difficult People

Knowing the difference between players and pretenders

If you’ve ever led people, you’ve come across followers who would rather act the part than do their part. Those people are pretenders, and while they can sometimes masquerade as players, there are ways to tell the two apart. It’s important to find all the pretenders within an organization, because otherwise, they will steal momentum…

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Leading difficult people: Grandstanding Gary

If you’ve ever led a team, then you know how important good teamwork is. Professional basketball player Michael Jordan said, “Talent wins games, but teamwork and intelligence wins championships.” Jordan was an extremely talented player, but he understood the value of a good team. If only every member of a team knew that… Do you…

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Leading difficult people: Critical Carl

There’s room in any organization for every type of person. From the big-picture person to the detail-conscious, all can make a valid contribution. But sometimes a team member’s strength can be their weakness. Attention to detail can become fixation on the negative. And the voice of reason turns into the voice of discouragement. This is…

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Leading difficult people: Disorganized Debbie

Do you know anyone who’s always busy but never seems to get anything done? Maybe this person works for you. How do you lead someone who’s motivated and a doer, but still doesn’t contribute any meaningful results? Meet Disorganized Debbie. She works hard and wants to succeed. Unfortunately, she looks like a rocking horse: always…

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Leading difficult people: Excited Eddie

I love spending time with enthusiastic people. I’m pretty high-energy myself. An enthusiastic follower can be a joy to work with. His excitement about his work has the potential to energize the entire team. With one exception. Let’s talk about Excited Eddie. He’s got loads of enthusiasm for his work, but only to a point.…

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Leading difficult people: Slumped Susan

Here’s a truth that I’ve believed for a long time: Leadership is influence. Nothing more, nothing less. If a leader has no one following, he’s only taking a walk. Of course, not everyone is easy to influence. Some followers are difficult to connect with. Last week we talked about the art of influencing difficult people,…

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Leading difficult people: Fearful Fred

Someone once said, “90% of the art of living consists in getting along with people you cannot understand.” Haven’t you found that to be true? I know that if everyone were just like me, then relationships would sure be a lot simpler. But people ARE different, in wonderfully complex ways. And there IS an art…

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