3 Reasons Gotcha Leadership Won’t Get It

Ever felt like you were walking into a mousetrap everyday?

Cat and Rat

Another question we must ask, “Are we the ones who are setting the trap?”  Are we the ones who are trying to play a game of gothca with the folks we are supposed to lead?

This is a style which does not lend itself to getting the best out of people, but one which actually leads to the worst.  I remember a job from a number of years ago in which everyone walked on egg shells so they wouldn’t get anything wrong.  The leadership made a habit of correcting team members and scolding them PUBLICLY!  What a disincentive to step out.

When we get into situations like this, we find ourselves trying to lead from above.  After giving directions, we simply assume a seat int he balcony to watch from a distance to catch people doing something other than what they were told to do.

3 Reasons Gotcha Leadership Won’t Get It

1.  Productivity killerWhen those we lead are afraid to try something new, or take a small risk, our organization is frozen in the spot it was in yesterday.  Anytime a company moves to the next level, it requires doing something different.  It requires change and often mistakes.

2.  Us vs. ThemHave you ever noticed the bond that is created among peers within an organization.  When someone is singled out publicly and reprimanded, the other team members immediately come to the aid of their peers.  This is not building the leaders influence, it actually reduces it.

3.  Turnover explodesWhen we are consistently “Caught” doing something wrong, we immediately begin looking for ways to get out.  This is obviously a huge cost to the organization, and one “Gotcha” leaders have failed to account for.  Nobody likes to be reminded of only the things they have done wrong and will be looking for the nearest EXIT door.

One great solution to this problem…put on different glasses!  Look for the positives.  Praise it publicly.  Repeat.

Leave your comment below – Has this ever happened to you?  What have you do to look for the best in people and catch them doing something right?  Leave your comment by clicking here.

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  1. Let's Grow Leaders says:

    Gotcha leaders are insecure… they work to trap to make themselves feel smart, when they’re really stupid. Nothing worse that busting the confidence or your team.

    • You are exactly right! Insecurity is the culprit for this type of leadership and it’s also to blame for leaders not wanting to make those under them better. Because they could get better than the leader…and that would be awful. 🙂 Thanks for giving another reason. You’re awesome Karin!

  2. Thanks for the reminder, Dave. The tone leaders set goes all the way through to the bottom of the rung. (If there are rungs.) Everyone can feel the spirit that’s coming from the top. All the Insecurity is fear… no doubt.

    I came to your site from your comment on Acuff’s post. Nice site. FYI… the comment links aren’t live on your posts. I got here by clicking on the title of the post. Because I really wanted to comment. 🙂

    • So glad you found my page Arlen, and I hope you will check in often. Definitely can feel what spirit is being spread through any organization. I have been experimenting with different formats regarding the comments. What approach is the best you’ve seen?

      • From my experience when the comments link is at the bottom it seems most natural because I just finished reading. Now I’m ready to comment.

        At the ends of my posts I was trying to ask questions to get the conversation going via the comments. Just now I noticed that MichaelHyatt.com uses the word ‘Question’… asks the question … plus provides a link to make a comment. Probably couldn’t get easier than that. He makes it so easy to flow right into the comments as a natural succession of the post. Plus, look at all his comments. 🙂

  3. Dan Forbes says:

    What a horrible boss that was. I guess he never heard, “Praise in public; criticize in private.” Gotcha’ leaders will one day Get-their on.


  1. […] Dave Bratcher, a leadership consultant, wrote in his blog today about the style of leadership he ter… […]

  2. […] Joe was visibly shaken as he left the readout with the senior eam.  His results were solid, and he was prepared to share his team’s story.  He just hadn’t anticipated that line of questioning. He could feel the conversation going sideways, and then he choked.  He’d seen this movie before, and it doesn’t end well.  The questions turned to sarcasm mixed with a few “gotchas.” […]

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