When I was young and my dad was leaving to go somewhere, we would ask him where he was going and he would say that he was going crazy and asked us if we wanted to go with him. He was kidding of course, but there are something leaders do that drive followers “Crazy.”

Here are four of them shared by Dan Rockwell

Originally posted by

Dan Rockwell


We love to think about what drives leaders crazy.

But, what about employees?

1. Red tape. The reason red tape drives employees crazy is they want to get things done.

  1. The function of management is to make it easier, not more difficult, to achieve results.
  2. Call, “Why are we doing things this way” meetings with front-line employees and mid-level managers. You might try adding, “What policy or procedure could we simplify or eliminate,” to the next agenda.
  3. Run interference for your team.

2. Attending irrelevant or poorly run meetings.

  1. Call meetings when human connection and interaction are necessary.
  2. Use video conferencing if the purpose of the meeting is information.
  3. Anyone who doesn’t participate is dead weight. The leader who doesn’t participate is a policeman.
  4. Cap the number of participants at 7. Meetings become about information when more people sit at the table. (See #2.)

3. Micromanaging. Micromanaging feels like distrust.

  1. Micro-managers think micromanaging is good management. Everyone else tolerates it. There’s energy in positive relationships.
  2. Explore and answer your points of distrust. Then release people and expect responsibility.
  3. Respond to mistakes with, “What are we learning,” not, “You screwed up.” Try, “What will you do differently next time?”
  4. Ask, “How would you do this?” And, “What do you think?” Go with their approach unless it’s harmful.

4. Negative feedback without honor, reward, or gratitude.

  1. Keep negative feedback to one event. Don’t say, “You’ve been doing this for months.” Piling on negative examples to validate negative feedback invites defensiveness.
  2. Circle back in a week or so to reconnect and see how things are going. Make the pursuit of excellence a process, not an arrival.
  3. Give 3x more affirmations than criticisms.
  4. Focus recognition on behaviors you want repeated. Avoid giving recognition exclusively for results. Recognize behaviors that deliver results.