I've already introduced you to the man most admired as a boss and
leader.  For this life lesson we will go to the other end of the spectrum.
Normally I don't like taking a negative approach to learning a lesson, but
some lessons are easier to understand once you've seen the dark side.

To say that Bill, not his real name, was self-centered would be an insult
to self-centered people around the world.  Bill was more than self-
centered. He was totally focused on himself. Every opportunity that
came to his department became an opportunity for Bill to be glorified.  
Every accomplishment by any of his people was an accomplishment for
which Bill took full credit.

To ensure that none of his people would get the idea that one of their
successes was the result of their own work, Bill felt it necessary to
continually change the scope of projects. Sometimes he would retain a
specific piece of information needed to reach an ultimate successful
conclusion so that he was assured nobody could present a completed
project to anyone but himself.  He led through intimidation and by
making his people feel inadequate and inferior.

He saw no need to draw talent from his people, he saw them strictly as
instruments to do the legwork that he could repackage and present it as
his own work.

Sure, Bill had many good qualities. He had moved up the ranks in a
Fortune 100 because he had demonstrated the talent to get things done.
Bill taught me a lot. He knew how to integrate goals together to increase
productivity. He also was a master at finding opportunities where
employee and suppliers could work together for charitable efforts. But
for the purposes of what we are examining here we must look at how
leaders, even those with the most giving hearts, can evolve one area of
their persona that stifles employee engagement.

We've all heard about the importance people place on, “What's In It For
Me?” The WIIFM acronym has become very popular and can be found
adorning bumper stickers, notepads, and items generally sold to people
who perceive themselves as leaders. Unfortunately this phrase is a
poison that leads to future problems.

WIIFM was Bill’s motto. He always thought about what was in it for
him thinking that his answer would also motivate others.

The concept behind WIIFM is that leaders and salespeople always
consider that others are best motivated by personal benefits. This may
be very true, however it is inevitable that the leader would turn the
question on him or herself and start focusing on their own opportunities
for personal gain. This becomes a cancer that ultimately leads to
disconnected employees and selfish managers.

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A Bizerm™ is a new business term combining two
descriptive words into a single word or phrase whose
definition is often only known by those using it. To
see more terminology in the workplace,
click here.

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