Six Common Bad Behaviours That Will Define You If You Let Them.

CaptureYou know I read the Harvard Business Review so that you don’t have to.

I came across a great article the other day by James Waldroop and Timothy Butler. They identified six bad behaviours in the workplace that, left unaddressed, will severely limit the potential of anyone exhibiting them.  

The Hero

First up we have the Hero. Good to have on the team, the Hero is first in, last out and is driven by personal success. This doesn’t sound like much of a problem, and it isn’t, until things go wrong, which they usually do. The Hero gets burnt out and they burn out their teams as well. They can go for a long time in this burnt out state, operating well below par. Everyone, and that’s everyone, needs a break. I have been burnt out before. I had a good boss. He sent me home.

The Meritocrat

The Meritocrat believes that her ideas should stand on their own and do not need to be sold. This is the classic limiting belief of the scientist in industry. (I know! I know!) They think that being right is all that matters and that they don’t need to lobby and persuade. This often leads to career death as the more savvy get the promotions. Thankfully I spotted this in myself early on.

The Bulldozer

Bulldozers get things done at all costs. And the cost is usually measured in the intimidation and alienation of others. They cannot trust others and therefore they are not trusted (funny how that one works isn’t it?) The bulldozer, like the Hero, can’t keep a team together for long. People just run. I had a Bulldozer boss for a few years. It was his inability to trust that was the worst bit.

The Pessimist

The Pessimist is against all change. Driven by our old friend fear, they are so cautious that they stifle their own creativity and the creativity of those around them. These people really are a pain. I’ve never met a successful person who was pessimistic. I’ve managed a few of these in the past. Never did manage to change them. I’ve never been pessimistic…I just don’t get it.

The Rebel

The Rebel defies authority constantly. Rebels complain about the organisation and the management and are cynical. Their negativity is corrosive. These people are very difficult to manage, I can attest.

The Home Run Hitter

The Home Run Hitter is looking for the approval of the boss and his peers, and is not driven by the organisation’s goals. These people can be successful, but often go for the home run, when a smaller, more achievable action is really the thing to do.  


These behaviours, like all behaviours, are driven by our feelings which are themselves driven by our beliefs. And that’s where to fix it – at the belief level. But awareness is half the battle and that’s why I wrote this post for you.

2 Responses to Six Common Bad Behaviours That Will Define You If You Let Them.

  1. Robert Sloss May 20, 2013 at 11:34 am #

    Good stuff, I’ve met all of these, some of them in your presence! The answer to your problem of “why for the Pessimist”, is that it is equated with cowardice. If you see the problems with everything you never make a mistake or alternatively you never find out if something was a big positive. If you never make a mistake you can never be blamed hence cowardice. My favourite quotation on this is from Frank Muir, a comedian of a bygone age, “Every decision I have ever made was a mistake but somehow those mistakes have got me where I am today”

    • Mark Nugent May 21, 2013 at 10:04 am #

      Brilliant quote. It’s the same idea as “default to action” – those who do more, get more good stuff, providing you’re not reckless of course.

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