We mostly read about mistakes LEADERS make. The MIT Sloan Management Review (Summer 2009) article “Are Your Subordinates Setting You Up to Fail?” by Jean-Francois Mansoni and Jean-Lous Barsoux shows the SUBORDINATE side of the equation.
Here are some subordinate behaviors that can damage team success:
- Passivity, defensiveness, or agressiveness
- Discounting the boss’s critical feedback on the grounds that it is driven by the boss’s disposition rather than their own performance flaws
- A focus on the boss’s shortcomings rather than strengths
- Miscontruction of the actions of the boss
- Over-intentionalizing, that is, projecting hidden intent where there is none
- Extreme vigilance, that is, watching their boss “interact with their colleagues. They notice who the boss spends time with, what the boss says or does not say. This extreme vigilance … can encourage subordinates to make too much of casual comments, rushed feedback or perceived slights.”
Such behaviors not only damage the team, but sometimes lead these individuals to sabotage their own careers and chances of success.
First posted in WordPress on July 11, 2009