6 Signs You May Be a Dysfunctional Company (Or Leader)

action reactionThe 6 signs you may be a dysfunctional company (or leader) is something we all need to consider…Nobody wants to believe they are dysfunctional, but the truth is all of us at some level.

I looked up the term dysfunctional today and the definition said: “not operating normally or properly or deviating from the norms of social behavior that is regarded as bad”.

What that says to me is that dysfunctional is somewhat in the eyes of the beholder, at least as it relates to organizations and leadership.  What each of us believes may be broken, flawed or malfunctioning may not be the same.

However, I suspect that most us would agree on what happens when dysfunctionality (that’s a word I made up) occurs.  Bottom line…things just don’t work as effectively or easily and sometimes not at all.  A little secret though, many companies and leaders are truly dysfunctional (in my opinion) and still make big buckets of money and can be successful.  It’s the people that work for them that often suffer.

What are the signs that you may be a dysfunctional company or leader? 

If you recognize yourself here maybe it’s time to consider some changes or at the very least examine the impact on your department or company.

  1. Strategy or idea of the day (or week or month….).  Do you pride yourself on being creative; always looking for new ways to do things or have ah-ha moments of brilliance sending everyone scrambling to change direction?  How many projects have been started or pushed aside only to be replaced by the new greatest hit?
  2. Putting lipstick on the pig.  There are times this makes sense but if this is the way everything is handled it might be time to consider a change
  3. Favorite children mentality.  The favorite children mentality is evident when certain people can do no wrong, regardless.  They are treated differently than everybody else, and it’s evident to everybody else.
  4. No accountability, except when you want it.  This syndrome looks like this.  Most of the time no one is held accountable, or if they are it’s on a very limited basis.  Then something happens…business is off, problems start to occur…and all hell breaks loose.  Everyone now is being held accountable for everything.  And eventually, the pendulum swings the other way again.
  5. Analysis paralysis.  No one makes a decision.  Everyone is waiting for someone else, more information, a sign from heaven…something.  And while the waiting continues everyone stands around, projects get delayed; nothing good happens.
  6. Fiefdom mentality.  It’s all about you or your department.  Managers build little fiefdoms around them, sometimes expanding their fiefdom by waging war with other managers so that they have greater power and span of control. These aren’t the only signs of a dysfunctional organization or leader.  I have several more but thought I’d stop here and elicit your ideas.  What do you think are the signs that you work for a dysfunctional company or leader? If I get enough ideas I’ll include them in a future article.

I suggest you take this list and think about if any these 6 signs you may be a dysfunctional company (or leader) apply to you.  If you find yourself falling into one of these, I’m here to help you out,

1 Comment

  • T. C. Browne Posted August 21, 2014 8:09 pm

    Re the politics of a dysfunctional company, I once reported to a very-experienced “large corporation” executive whose guidance for career success in that world was “Never work for someone who is either stupid or weak!”

Comments are closed.