>> Stuttgart 08.06.2016

Welcome back everybody, the last weeks have been busy and crazy at the same time.  Fordings was live in London at the Business Show in the Excel centre and are in the middle of discussions to finalise several business opportunities.

Finally, I have the time to put characters to screen and write the second in our series of “House of Cards”, destructive leadership.  Today I will be addressing the “know it all.”

I am sure that many of you reading have been dealing with know it alls either at work or in your private life.

Unlike the politician, the know it all is not necessarily a strategic or even power hungry, in fact I have met many “know it alls” who seem to have no strategy, more of a trust on their own instincts.

It is often the case that the “know it all” will have had one major success experience and has risen to power so to say on the basis of this.

The most catastrophic thing about know it alls is that they have blinkers on and are often not able to see activities left and right of their focus. They are glad to give their opinion and quickly shut down the opinion of the other without any strong viable argumentations for doing so.

Unlike the politician the know it alls often really likes the team and wants to help and move things along in the interest of the company, however their insistence on doing things their way and the seeming disinterest for ideas left or right of theirs often isolates them from the team or their employees driving down productivity and increasing feelings of frustration and anger.  In one particular company in which I previously worked I witnessed the quick demise of an area within a company simply because the leadership were not interested in adopting outside principles and governed the department to the motto of –

“ I have always been successful doing it this way – my way or no way.” During the last 17 years of experience I have had the delight to meet many such people, and one of the common denominators is their drive for perfection and organisation but their lack of charisma to take risks or chances left or right of what they are doing. They will work religiously towards an aim and often not get there because they do not feel that the advice from colleagues is of help.  Interestingly enough when talking about tactics from others, they are able to be open and critical about it in the group but will always draw the attention of the group back to their own processes.

What makes the problem with the “know it all” so deadly is their commitment to the company and team rather than to themselves, they tend to have the right connections and know when and when not to apply pressure and stress.

My experience shows that such leaders need to be stroked and complimented and this forms the basis for a dialog. Not challenging them can lead to large team fluctuation and a decreased productivity level. Engage in their ideas, praise what you like and bring them through banter and excitement a business model that can help them and try to use visual argumentation rather than standard discussion. The know it alls tend to be louder, harder and busy individuals who cannot concentrate on a discussion for long, therefore clever praise linked in with a proposal often helps solve the situation.

Should you feel that you have problems here or an individual that is doing this to the team, please do not hesitate to contact us. Maybe we can help you achieve equilibrium and get the productivity and sales working again.

Andrew Lawrence