By David D’Souza
Head of Engagement & Head of London, CIPD. @dds180

The following is a a practical workplace guide to losing hearts and leaving people hollow. A ‘How to’ guide for anyone wishing to remove trust and destroy group dynamics; should you be so inclined. I’ve had a reasonably long career and I’ve worked with some experts in this field over the years. Their lessons stuck with me and my commitment to people being entitled to the opposite is one of the reasons I joined the CIPD.

Of course if you wanted to avoid doing the things on this list you might find that, at the very least, you don’t do bad things. People often say that ‘not bad’ isn’t the same as ‘good’. I’d agree, but sometimes ‘not bad’ is good enough and it is always better than bad.

The 10 Steps (no particular order…)

1. Heroically take upon yourself the burden of all the critical decisions and then get them wrong. Work with assumptions as if they are facts – and LinkedIn quotes as if they are strategy.

2. Lead so well no other voices can be heard or recognised. Become the only voice that matters in the organisation. Go big on you.

3. Create a distance so great between your exposed values and your deeds that people point to it from afar as though it is a wonder of nature. They’ll whisper in hushed tones in the corridors, they whisper of that gap. They marvel at your lack of realisation

4. Keep telling people you are authentic and humble. Keep acting like you are omniscient and omnipotent.

5. Involve people at the point their involvement is largely redundant and then rail at them for a lack of ‘engagement’. Dictate the rules of engagement and then object to being called a dictator. Use an annual survey to indicate commitment to everyday involvement.

6. Keep your friends close and your budgets closer. Invest only in people and things that are conspicuous in their proximity to your world view. Create a comfort blanket of vanity projects and acolytes

7. Keep talking about people not being able to be half on the bus – until the only people on the bus are ones that aren’t smart enough to challenge the destination and timetable (even though it makes no sense)

8. Pay no attention to the physical environment. People are lucky to have a building at all and if they were as good as you they’d get a nicer space to work in – with windows and a supportive chair and everything

9. Communicate what you want to communicate -or just what people want to hear. Leave the trickier task of telling them what they need to hear for another day

10. Make unfair reward your target. From exec pay down, through promotions and right down to saying ‘thank you’ make sure you are selective, preferential and that you shun transparency.

And finally, remember why you hired all those bright people: to make you feel good about taming their intellect and having them all agree with you.

Even if it means the bright sparks within in them no longer shine.


PS A version of this blog appeared a long time ago on where you can go for really good writing

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