In his song “Long Live the Chief” the artist Jidenna delivers wise words:

“You can either lead, follow, or get out the way.”

These words apply perfectly to office dynamics.

In every corporate situation there are leaders, followers, and people who get in the way. Whether in a meeting or during a daily task, I advise teammates to decide which category we fall under. If we’re leading, we need to lead. If we’re following, we must do everything in our power to follow in the most efficient manner possible. If neither is the case, we’re just a distraction.

Lack of adherence to these principles explains why 80%+ of office meetings are a waste of time…Almost always, meetings involve too many people. A meeting should be called only when a leader must communicate face-to-face followers. A meeting should not be an area of deliberation or discussion. Such meetings open the floodgates for neutral parties: people who are neither leaders nor followers, i.e., people who want to be heard, but have nothing to say.

For the sake of organizational health, we must recognize the players who are getting in the way of organizational dynamics. Corporate culture depends upon it. Most importantly, leaders at all levels should recognize who is leading, who is following, and who is in the way. Those who are in the way should be encouraged to find an area where their efforts apply to the category of leadership or followership.

MOST-READ ARTICLES

Broken Window Theory at the Office

Former Mayor Rudolph Giuliani cleaned up New York City by understanding the broken window theory. The theory suggests each problem that goes unattended in a given environment affects people's attitude toward that environment and leads to more problems (see Ivy...

read more

Binary Honesty vs. Spectral Honesty (Part 1 of 2)

Google the term binary honesty and you will find that it does not exist. That's because we just invented the term, having defined it as follows: Binary Honesty: Marked by truth in an either-or scenario. For example, the question "Do you follow Rip Red Tape...

read more

Sitting at a Desk is Not a Competition

In almost every corporation known to man, there are those who believe that the ability to sit at a desk for extended amounts of time requires talent and fortitude. It doesn't. Yet in so many offices across the globe, there is a perspective that the person who can sit...

read more

Office Life and Cabin Fever

It's pretty common for us office warriors to find ourselves inside of a building for eight hours per day at a minimum simply because our offices are inside. If you are a "normal" office worker, you are in/around your office from approx. 8AM to 4:30PM, preparing/eating...

read more