by Paul Casey

Don’t Put on the Leadership Lid

open_tight_lid_on_stick_jar_cap4Lids are meant to keep things inside–bottled up for freshness. But Leadership Lids are the opposite–they bottle people up for stagnation. And good people find other places of work if under such a leader who shuts people down.

Leaders may not know they are subconsciously putting lids on their people, but they do it whenever they:

  • Reject professional growth opportunities presented to them
  • Tell their people to stay at their desks instead of collaborating around the office or in the community
  • Shoot down fresh ideas with wet-blanket statements like, “We tried that before.” “We’ll never afford that.”
  • Stay sheltered from real-time feedback from the team about what’s going on
  • Don’t give their team new challenges to pursue and new incentives to reward progress
  • Don’t share the stage by delegating leadership opportunities to team members to grow and develop

So, if you are a leader with a sphere of influence, beware of these Lid-encapsulating behaviors. If you aren’t sure you are doing them, ask your team candidly and listen for ways to bust open those lids that you’ve been twisting on tightly. And, if you are under a leader who has a lid over your development, speak up respectfully and, without seeing changes, you may need to put your eyes on the horizon before it affects your attitude negatively.

Hey, feedback to me other leadership-lid behaviors that supervisors do, so that I can add to this list and warn the masses! Post on Growing Forward Services on Facebook or email me at


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