4 Ways to Deal with Deadweight

Successful leaders deal with people who take up space but don’t contribute.

put all your deadweight on the same team

12 ways to be deadweight:

  1. Complain about entitled millennials. Have you noticed how entitled older leaders expect young people to bow down to their experience? I can’t tell who’s more entitled.
  2. Commit fully to your comfort zone. Do your best to make people dance around your preferences.
  3. Beat down infant ideas with questions about details and definitions.
  4. Cling to offenses. You’re still upset about the policy change of 2005.
  5. Smile and agree in the meeting. Drag your feet when the work begins.
  6. Refuse to adapt. Policy is policy.
  7. Reject all attempts to update systems and software. It can’t be better if it’s working for you.
  8. Say, “We already tried that,” at least three times a day.
  9. Disagree because it’s fun to throw your weight around. Remove the word “constructive” from dissent. 
  10. Encourage people to worry about the people upstairs. Just bringing up the CEO is enough to stall any initiative.
  11. Demand perfection. Reject better.
  12. Remind everyone about something that’s lacking, when things are going good. “That’s great. But what about …?”

4 ways to deal with deadweight:

#1. Figure out the strengths of deadweight and apply them appropriately. I’ve found that deadweight isn’t always dead. I’ve been frustrated with fellow leaders because I didn’t understand or respect their strengths.

Just because someone sees things differently, doesn’t make them deadweight.

#2. Put all your deadweight on the same team. Don’t spread poison through your organization. Who knows, the deadweight may come up with something useful. At least they won’t be polluting everyone.

#3. Assign deadweight to established projects. Don’t expect historical obstacles to magically get behind new initiatives.

#4. Help deadweight take their talent to an organization where they’ll be appreciated.

What are some qualities or behaviors of deadweight?

How might leaders deal with deadweight?

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