Bad Leader? Or Bad System?

Before you make the difficult decision to move a leader out of his or her position, make sure the problem is truly the person and not the system.

Was this person promoted beyond his ability? Does she have the skills and understanding necessary to do the job well? If not, why was she put in this role? Have you given him all the support needed to do his job successfully, whether that is encouragement, resources, clear instruction, honest feedback, or meaningful reward?

Are there other systemic issues — unhealthy communication, organizational politics, widespread incompetence or apathy, bottlenecks above and below — that are hindering this person from effectively completing their work?

Ask yourself all of these questions before concluding that the person is the problem. Many times the real problem is the system, not the individual leader.


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