Twelve Tips for Terrible Teams

Frankie Kemp

20 July 2012

I’ve put together for you Twelve Tips on How to Create Terrible Teams.  For those of you who think that I regard dysfunctional, non-productive teams as a a benefit to an organisation, I have to emphasise that the article is ironic: it’s the ‘how not to’ school of learning.  Obviously, for terrific teams, just reverse my ‘advice’.

It’s the small actions that go a long way and as you read ahead, you’ll realise how little you have to do to make Teams that Tick, not crumble.

1. When appearing in meetings, never look interested: check your mobile messages and emails. There are two reasons for this: a) the meeting will simply drag on if you show interest; b) you are signalling to those present that you are part of a big, wide world that cannot simply stop just because they believe they need your time.

2. We understand how difficult it is to motivate teams. So why bother? Harbour the belief that everyone has only one driver: money. If an individual feels burdened and unappreciated, pay them more. However, don’t say ‘thank you’ or redelegate work. It takes too much effort.

3. Avoid conversations about career paths. The next thing you know is that you’ll have some incompetent individual wanting to know why they’re not CEO within 6 months.

4. Don’t delegate. You need to take full credit for everything. However, when it all goes wrong (and it will if you’re trying to do everything), then….

5. remember.. it’s not your fault! There’s a group of individuals who are there to make you look good, and if they’re not, they should be on the end of your foot.

6. If those who are promoted have a skills gap, then why did you promote them in the first place? Some Managers and HR Executives believe training is the answer. That takes time and money. At the most, buy them a self-help book and a couple of videos.

7. Forget this post-modern bilge of knowledge sharing, in the form of pods, lunchtime seminars or mentoring. Recognising the skills and experience of your teams will engender pomposity and you don’t need that on your plate. More to the point, if they demonstrate that they may know more than you about something, what’ll happen to your job?

8. Ensure that you ignore all emails from your staff. You are too important to deal with trivialities from the little people. Also, it breeds co-dependency.

9. We live in a fast moving world, where appearance matters. Put these two together and what we’re asking of the successful workforce is that they are seen to be working late. If you can’t balance work and private life, then buddy, one of them will have to go.

10. Reward yourself: in front of your team. By displaying your achievements, you will increase the likelihood that they will respect you. If they don’t respect you, at least they will know who’s boss, which is still pretty good going.

11. Constantly postpone appraisal dates. If they’re doing well, you’ll only have to reward your staff and that creates chaos and cost.

12. Set unreachable goals. Everyone needs something to strive for: keeps them on their toes

Let me know what YOU think are the three most important actions a manager can take to keep a team performing well.


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