11 Practices Of Dysfunctional Organizations

Have you ever worked for a dysfunctional organization?  If so, then the soap opera surrounding the Washington Redskins, their owner Daniel Snyder, head coach Mike Shanahan, and franchise quarterback Robert Griffin III should bring back a series of bad memories.

After reading a number of articles this past week about the team, I gleaned the following 11 Practices Of Dysfunctional Organizations.  See if any describe your church or workplace.

  1. Leaders Want To Quit – In dysfunctional organizations, leaders are looking for the exit door.  Dan Graziano of ESPN.com reported head coach Mike Shanahan was ready to resign after the 2012 season because of owner Daniel Snyder’s friendly relationship with star quarterback Robert Griffin III.  He had even gone as far as cleaning out his office.
  2. Leaders Are Not Unified – An unnamed source told Sports Illustrated, “People are still trying to tell Dan that he doesn’t have to be good friends with those he has in key managerial positions, or his players.  Shanahan had no interest in that. It was strictly a business relationship with him. Mike doesn’t socialize with Dan, he doesn’t hang with Dan. He never wanted to, and Dan always pushed that sort of thing. He always wants to socialize with his coaches, or the stars on the team.”  You can read SI’s complete report by clicking here.
  3. Responsibilities Are Unclear – Snyder’s fraternizing with personnel, specifically Griffin, is highly unusual in the NFL.  This is a league where owners supply the funds to be successful, general managers run the organization, coaches coach and players play.
  4. Leaders Are Being Misused – Coach Shanahan has elected to sit Griffin for the team’s final three games.  He said in his December 9th press conference, “The reason why I kind of left it up in the air about that after the game is that anytime you have 24 sacks in the last five games … the reason I was hesitant is that I’m always going to look at … you’ve got your franchise quarterback,  and you want to make sure going into the offseason that he goes through a full offseason program.”
  5. Leaders Are Not Communicating With Each Other – Coach Shanahan also gave indication that as of this past Monday he had not spoken to Griffin about the decision.
  6. There Is Much Confusion And Sideways Energy – Shanahan said, “There’s always a lot of noise when you’re 3-10.  I understand that, and every organization has it. There’s going to be a lot more noise over the next few weeks.”
  7. People Have Become Selfish – When leaders begin asking, “What’s in it for me”, you’re dysfunctional as an organization.  Mark Maske of the Washington Post reported the Washington Redskins are looking for a way to relieve Coach Shanahan of his duties while avoiding payment of the final $7 million payment of his contract.
  8. You Are Losing Customers - The December 8th loss to the Kansas City Chiefs had the lowest home attendance in FedEx Field history
  9. There Is A Previous History Of Dysfunctional Leadership – Under Snyder’s ownership, the team has had six head coaches - Norv Turner, Marty Schottenheimer, Steve Spurrier, Jim Zorn, Joe Gibbs, and Mike Shanahan.  There is one common thread among all of these head coaches – owner Daniel Snyder.
  10. Careers Are Ruined – While I believe the benching of RGIII is to showcase backup Kirk Cousins in hopes of getting a 2014 1st round draft pick which they lack, he is the latest in a line of star athletes whose reputations have been tarnished working for the Redskins.  Others include Deion Sanders, Bruce Smith, Donovan McNabb, LaVar Arrington, and Albert Haynesworth.
  11. A Pattern Of Failure – In Snyder’s 15 years of ownership, the team has missed play-offs 11 times.

Do any of these characteristics describe your church or workplace?


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3 Responses to “11 Practices Of Dysfunctional Organizations”

  1. Mark on 16/12/2013 #

    Very insightful. I believe you could be a leadership consultant to sports organizations.

    • brian@therocketcompany.com on 16/12/2013 #

      Thank you Brother Asbell. Maybe we should do that together? I hope you’re preparing for a Merry Christmas.

  2. Chris Lautsbaugh on 17/12/2013 #

    Great article combining leadership and sports – two of my loves. Thanks Brian

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