Cold, undead relics from a past age haunt the corporate world, spreading fear and carnage wherever they go. These monsters can look good, seductive even, but if you let them, they’ll suck the life force out of you and leave you dead. Or worse: One of them.
I call them vampire ideas and all they deserve is a stake through the heart. Vampire ideas can be found in stock management philosophy, tired old leadership theories or business advice from an earlier era. Wherever they come from, they’re bad for you and they’re bad for business.
Here’s a table comparing vampire ideas to actual vampires:
|Actual vampires||Vampire ideas|
|Can look really good||Can look really good|
|…but are actually disgusting and evil||…but are actually disgusting and evil|
|Are undead||Should’ve been dead a long time ago|
|Suck people’s blood||Suck a company’s energy and creativity|
|Are deterred by garlick and crosses||Are deterred by good leadership|
|Can’t enter your house without an invitation||Can’t enter your business without an invitation|
|Are really hard to kill||Are really hard to kill|
|Wither and burn in the light of day||Wither and burn in the light of logical thinking|
|Cast no shadow or mirror image||That’s kinda where the analogy breaks down|
So what are some commonly seen vampire ideas? Here are a few examples.
Fire the bottom 10% of your employees every year
This is one of the most inhumane, cynical and just plain stupid ideas I’ve ever heard about. Who on earth still believes that this is a good way to do business and to get the best performance from employees. This idea keeps employees constantly afraid, but if that’s what you want, go for it. The exact opposite view is described here and trust me, it works much better.
If you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it
Considering how many things in a business are unmeasured, not to say unmeasurable, this is one more bad idea in need of a final resting place. I’ve written about it previously here. This idea of management-by-spreadsheet stifles new ideas and reduces a leaders focus to things that can be expressed in numbers.
Long work hours are good for business
Nice guys finish last
That’s not true either. In a networked world it’s more important to be generous and likeable than to be ruthless and efficient.
I’m sure there’s more. What vampire ideas do you know, that we should get rid of once and for all?
Let’s break out the wooden stakes and go vampire slaying together!