There are “Leaders” and there are “Followers” and then there are…

Time to Read – Until you do something about them

There are “Leaders” and there are “Followers” and then there are…


A brilliant word thought up by Jon Kidd, our NL Sigma specialist.

Leadership is behaviour, not a position – we can all behave as leaders, and when others do, we follow.

And then there are those that do neither – always a problem, never a solution. Always a complaint, never a compliment. Always a victim, never a hero.

Wallowers – The word sums them up completely.

The sort of people who suck the very lifeblood out of you. Picture the scene – it is Monday morning, and you are on your way to the coffee machine. Standing next to the machine is a The Wallower King. You have been seen, it is too late to turn around, and besides (you lie to yourself); surely it can’t be that bad.

And then you ask a very silly question – in a bright and breezy way, you say “Hi Wallower”, sorry, “Hi (name), did you have a good weekend?”

Why would you ask that? You know full well what the answer will be…and here it comes…

“No, I had a dreadful time – I had a terrible headache and as if that wasn’t bad enough the weather was too cold to do anything and there was just nothing decent on TV and my mother in law came round and my wife sneezed all over me and has probably given me flu and that was just on Saturday. On Sunday…”

And by the time they have finished (usually as long as it takes to press 99 – decaffeinated coffee, extra white, no sugar), you have had the very lifeblood sucked out of you, while Wallower just wanders looking for their next target.

As you read this you may be smiling, pondering on some specific names and people who come within this category. Smile no more – they are the disciples of doom – and gloom, they are a virus, and they must not prevail.

What to do with Wallowers:

1.     Check they are not behaving as they do due to loneliness – involve them, give them a standard to live up to, ask them for their greatest skill, idea or passion.

If that doesn’t work

2.     Ask them their opinion about something that you know they know something about, in front of others (witnesses – Wallowers wallow in telling people you ignore them). If they say they do not have an opinion say “if you did have an opinion, what would it be?” If still nothing, then

3.     Get rid of them – and that is your outcome, make it a true decision and work out the “how.”

You have to follow these three, before these unhappy individuals who skulk around in corners, moaning behind our backs, form a powerful, collective force of negative energy that will have serious consequences on your customers, morale and profit.

With my love and best wishes


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