New Year, Same Old Bad Leadership Stories

First, happy new year. I’ve been busy working with clients and trying to get my new book to the publisher, but I wanted to check in with everyone.

Interesting story in the NY Times this morning about Marissa Meyer’s leadership style at Yahoo! (The exclamation point is part of their name, not my editorial comment on the story or the company. Yes, it is!!)

“Marissa is the type of boss that makes you feel like you’re disappointing her at all times, so I always feel like I’m on the verge of being fired,” said [Senior VP Jeff] Bonforte…. “It’s never, ‘Way to go, Jeff!'”

If that situation sounds like something your team might say, it’s time to make a resolution to change. Now. Because you’re not getting their best work. Fear motivates people not to fail, until it doesn’t, because it’s unsustainable. Praise motivates people not just to succeed, but to blow past expectations. And it is sustainable.

Too often, for various reasons, we manage by fear. It someones sort-of works, but not nearly as well as creating a supportive environment. To be a better manager, be a leader.


On another note, I’m saddened by the passing of David Bowie overnight. I’d been listening to and enjoying his music since 1967, when I first heard his eponymous and totally forgotten/unheard first album (before Changes, Hunky Dory, etc.). So the soundtrack for this morning is a song from that first album, and one from his last.

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