The 10 Step Downward Spiral Of Incompetent Leadership
If you live long enough, sooner or later you will serve under incompetent leadership. Few things are as frustrating as that experience but it is one of life’s realities.
This past Monday evening, the Green Bay Packers were the victim of one of the most infamous calls in NFL history when the Seattle Seahawks were awarded a late-game touchdown by a team of replacement officials. As a result, the NFL is fending off a firestorm from fans, media, and players.
As I watched ESPN’s post-game coverage, I found the analysis of Trent Dilfer and Steve Young very insightful. As I unpacked their comments, I noticed a sequential downward spiral of what is being referred to as “incompetent leadership”. All leaders should watch the video link above, read the comments below, and see if you are anywhere in this 10-step cycle.
- People Take Pride In What They Built - “The NFL had gained a revered place, legitimately and rightfully, amongst anybody, any other league or any other sports anywhere. It was revered.” – Young
- Leadership Makes Excuses For Bad Decisions - “The ultimate disaster is that a game was on the brink, one way or the other. And they’ll try to defend it – the call, the simultaneous catch – but everybody senses it that this is now affecting the competitive landscape of the NFL and it brings it down to other things we see in sports that is not the revered state of the NFL.” – Young
- Problems Continually Escalate - “It’s not just a problem. It’s an emergency situation.” – Young
- Your Team Soon Becomes Angry - “You get so frustrated with incompetence that it turns to anger.” – Dilfer
- Leadership Does Not Define Reality - ”The NFL has insulted my intelligence…They’re trying to tell us it’s not that big of a deal.” – Dilfer
- Core Team Leaders Complain - “You don’t hear a guy like Drew Brees, maybe the classiest guy in the NFL, come out and say what he said today unless it’s a colossal issue.” – Dilfer
- Then The Entire Team Then Rebels - “Players have never tweeted and done things in rebellion like they have until they experienced it.” – Dilfer
- Outside Partnerships Eventually Dissolve – “We built something great and we’re not surrounding it with partners that are competent and can do the same job that everyone else has put their time and effort in over a long period of time over the years. We’re dragging it down.” – Young
- Ultimately Team Members Quit – “You gotta be kidding me that I have to watch games turn over guys who are not competently presented. The NFL is too good for this. It’s too big for this and it’s hard to watch.” – Young
- Eventually Leadership Is Left With A Mess - “It’s ironic that you the NFL (the defender of “the shield”) is what is screwing this brand up.” – Dilfer
Did you notice the trend – A Solid Organization, then Bad Leadership Decisions, then Continual Problems, then Anger, followed by False Reality, Leaders Are Then Lost, The Entire Team Is Lost, Partnerships Soon Dissolve, Ultimately People Quit, and a then you are Left With A Mess.
The good news is that smart leaders can reverse this downward spiral. The solution for the NFL at this point to admit their mistake, properly compensate their game officials, and begin to regain trust from their players and fan base.
Pastors and leaders, do you see yourself anywhere on this spiral? If so, what is one thing you can do today to fix the problem?
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