Why Businesses Fail (Part 2)

Bill Pollock

Bill Pollock


When Incompetent Leaders with “Injelititis” Rise Through the Ranks

In part one of this three-part series, you learned what happens when leaders with Injelititis head up departments. C. Northcote Parkinson, author of “Parkinson’s Law”, coined this phrase to describe a leader who is both incompetent and jealous. 

You read the damage insecure leaders with Injelititis can do in a short period of time. Their departmental morale hits rock bottom; staff are not engaged; productivity is down; turnover is high; and profits are falling. There is no path ahead except one of business failure. In part one we also started the cure for Injelititis by recommending the use of people data analytics as a first step to uncover and analyze the people challenges in your company. Unhappy and disengaged staff is never a good combination. And high turnover is always a red flag that indicates there are people issues. If left unfettered, the repercussions can be devastating. Hiring, vacancies and turnover are critical measures of the health of your organization. If a leader is displaying Injelititis behaviours in one department, do you know if jealousy and incompetency has spread elsewhere? If it has, or if you don’t know, you should be worried. In addition to using data analytics, what else can you do to search for and control Injelititis and its nasty spread?


Ask your employee

Put your finger on the pulse of your company and go to the source. Invite your employees to provide their feedback through an engagement survey. Data analytics and regular staff surveys are two strong foundational pieces that will help uncover any Injelititis roots that are taking hold. They will also flush out other issues weakening your organization and its growth.

To be effective, it is highly recommended that an engagement survey be implemented by a third-party company.

The reason? You want honest, open disclosure and high response rates. This is true not only for all staff, but particularly for employees who have a boss who exhibits Injeltitis behaviours. There is no point in getting half a picture or the wrong picture. You need a full and holistic view of talent issues and business impacts. The number one rule in surveying your employees is that anonymity must be protected. To stress this point, anonymous employee surveys can achieve response rates upwards of 90%.

The second rule is that your employees need to see positive change as a result of their feedback. Their opinions matter. Thank them, and act immediately on the findings. Help your employees shape the future of the company going forward. Whether or not you choose a customized survey tailored to your organizational needs or a non-customised survey for rapid implementation, honest employee feedback is your greatest asset.


For assistance in checking the pulse of your organization and finding out if Jelititis is lurking within, click here: https://ca.drakeintl.com/clients/tms/engagement-surveys/ 


When Incompetent Leaders Move Steadily Upwards

It is more common than we would like to have incompetency rewarded. Leaders with Injelititis may preen to their superiors, take credit for the work of others and slowly but surely rise through the ranks. It is therefore critical that you obtain employee input and feedback and create action plans to stop Injelititis from spreading. 

“Teflon Man”

“I once worked with a leader who totally destroyed our team’s morale. No one trusted him and he constantly took credit for work he had no part in due to his incompetency. We called him “Teflon Man” since when anything went wrong or there was a problem, he was never to blame and usually pointed the finger at one of us. We wasted huge amounts of time trying to manage around him. It was totally exhausting. Many people just gave up and left the company, as senior management was oblivious to what was going on.” Senior Vice President Talent Management, Food Services Industry

Senior management was oblivious to what was going on.”

In addition to having leaders with Injelititis infect one or more departments, a major concern is having one rise through the ranks. If damaging behaviours go undetected, this can happen. They slip through the cracks, go unnoticed and continue their stealthy climb. Your company’s financial and overall health is the priority. And that health is directly tied into hiring the best candidates for the positions, employee retention, engagement, productivity, performance, and profitability. Like dominos, if one goes down, they may all be compromised. From top to bottom, you need checks and balances in place.


Don’t miss Part Three: When a Leader with Injelititis Gains Control of Your Company

Or, as Northcote Parkinson describes, “The next stage in the progress of the disease is reached when the infected individual gains complete or partial control of the central organization.”

You have leaders with Injelititis causing irreversible damage in departments. One is rising steadily through the ranks, and then gains control of the company. This is the last stage of Injelititis. How did this happen? It goes back to the checks and balances. And we’ll cover that off in part three.


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