How Not to Emerge as a Leader

The process by which leaders naturally emerge when there is not a designated authority is still somewhat shrouded in mystery. On the other hand, how not to emerge as a leader is perfectly clear and worth remembering: 

  1. Sit back and watch. Contribute very little to the group discussion. Keep your ideas and opinions to yourself and share them only when necessary. 

  2. Show up late to team meetings. Disregard the need for punctuality. Appear when you can and pretend the meeting starts when you arrive. 

  3. Come on strongly at the beginning of a discussion. State your opinion as if there is no other reasonable way to look at the issue. Make it clear that you know what is best. 

  4. Crack a lot of jokes. Always have something funny to say. When possible, make sure your levity has nothing to do with the topic under discussion. 

  5. Have an opinion about everything, even when you have no clue about what you’re talking about. Weigh in with your view on every topic, every time.

  6. Talk over and interrupt others frequently. Demonstrate to others that what you have to say is more important than what they have to say. Be impatient to say what you need to, and don’t worry if you cut off others who are already speaking.

You might have favorites to add to that list. We all know how not to be seen or emerge as a leader in the eyes of others. Reminding ourselves of these facts can help to keep our worst behaviors in a locked drawer where they belong.