Taking the Helm

The following is an excerpt from “Managerial Mistakes, Missteps and Misunderstandings; A Guide for Avoiding Common Pitfalls” by Blaine Little. Available on Amazon September 29th, 2020. 

One of the most important first steps of taking the lead of an organization or department is to assess the team. If it is a newly formed group, this means getting to know them on an individual basis. You may want to have an informal meeting or “huddle” your first day on the new job. This is a wonderful place to be tactfully blunt and relate your overall vision. Sometimes the C-Suite wants to see a new direction soon. Perhaps too soon. After all, it could be the previous boss was fired or even “kicked upstairs.” If this is the case, rumor mills being what they are, the team will have assuredly gotten a whiff of what truly happened. That being the case, it will also understand you are in the hot seat to perform.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is pexels-photo-3184405.jpegHowever, it is not necessary to outline ALL of your new policies and procedures in great detail during your original staff meeting. Too much detail should be avoided at this time if it is a matter of several changes. Otherwise, it could be information overload for the team. Just give them enough initially to see where things are headed.

Once your management style and expectations have been accepted by the team, you can then bring online new processes or innovations gradually. You can convey your priorities and what lies ahead without turning everything upside down overnight. So, explain what the new direction is if any, and why it is necessary. Most of all assure that you are there as a support for the organization.

You will most likely have a different style than that of your predecessor and you will no doubt have a mental checklist of things to do differently. Bringing your personality into the position is exactly what you should do. Otherwise, you would be viewed as unoriginal, which would cause others to question your authenticity. Just remember, since most people hate change, to allow a certain amount of time for the old style of management to dovetail into your own. In other words, allow your team the opportunity to get its collective head around your being the new boss.


Though Growth May be Stifled, Businesses Still Have to Develop.

When you hear someone like best-selling author Gary Vaynerchuk talk about “business development”, he is usually referring to sales. Or from his perspective at least, all the marketing aspects that lead up to the point of sale; advertising, public relations, product promotion and social media. But, depending on the business model, a key tool to marketing is that of personal networking. There are some great opportunities to do just that here in Middle Tennessee. Until recently, many of these meetings have been offered at breakfast or over lunch.

But these get-togethers are more than just exchanging cards. It is a chance to make true relationships and gain the insight to help grow your business. One such group is Rutherford Cable, which boasts over 250 members. “Cable is the premier leadership organization for woman’s professional advancement.” Says Missy Lay with the group. They meet with limited occupancy, but still conduct facilitated networking, both at the table and through the use of breakout rooms online.

Bus DevLocal insurance agent, Josh Minton was one of the founders of such a group in 2017; Connect Nashville. “We decided to start a meeting of our own that focused on building genuine relationships. We saw a real need in the networking community for helping people connect without wanting something directly in return”. Minton continues; “We genuinely just want to see other people grow, and over time we will all grow together.”  Nashville Connect has several chapters that meet throughout Middle Tennessee, including one in Murfreesboro. Many have gone online, though, Murfreesboro is just now starting to meet in person again. Check online for specifics.

Though, with the pandemic, it has been hard for entrepreneurs to get out and about to connect with other professionals who might be able to help promote business. For this reason, a lot of local networking groups have gone online. This is a good alternative for those who are still anxious about venturing too far from home or the shop. Truth be told, online is a medium that should have been utilized long before Covid. It certainly was an adjustment at first, but our leadership team has come together to help the meetings run smoothly and assist those who may not have ever used Zoom before”, Minton States. The lack of travel time and big meals just makes Zoom meetings convenient for busy professionals.NASP Online Meetings

Jim Furbush, account representative with ITEX and a board member with the Nashville Association of Sales Professionals (or NASP) stated: “This new way to network has allowed me to do business out of the area and occasionally out of the state. Even if we don’t do business with each other directly, having a large number of familiar businesses to refer makes me a resource and keeps me in contact with a lot of people”. 

A local business owner, Luis Roque is this year’s president of the Rutherford Independent Networking Group, or RING. RING is a great place to build lasting relationships with fellow Rutherford County business professionals. We really wanted to create a space where people could learn about each other’s businesses and help each other succeed”. Though the organization has had to meet over the internet, it is still very active.

But another aspect of Business Development, is of course, the professional development many business owners and independent contractors receive from networking groups. Many will offer an educational component on goal setting, better communication, leadership skills and all those aspects that do lead up to a point of sale. For this, another worthwhile group to check out is the Nashville Networking Business Luncheon. The NNBL always provides a 10 to 15 training session to offer information that will help business professionals. They also meet online every Tuesday. Check their website for a complete schedule.

If you are a business owner, two things are certain; online meetings are here to stay, and (fortunately) Covid is not. The two main resources for growth are time and money. Some may have more time on their hands than they wish, so NOW is when to take advantage of it. Sharpen your skills by attending webinars, reading a business book, or visiting some of these fine online networking groups.


Connect Nashville;





Blaine Little is the founder and CEO of Momentum Seminars Training & Coaching, helping companies remain profitable by investing in their people. Learn more at

Be sure to get his new book; “Managerial Mistakes, Missteps & Misunderstandings” available on Amazon in late September.

Dealing with Change

Job Woman Girl Business Female Laptop PeopleMoore’s Law states computers will double in speed about about every eighteen months. Since Gordon Moore made this prediction several decades ago, the rule of thumb has proven to be astonishingly accurate. A “smart kitchen” where the refrigerator will let you know if you get low on an item and add it to the grocery list takes advantage of this advance. Consider the automotive industry and the innovations that have been made just within the past few years. It seems everything is more, more, more. About the only things that have remain constant are human beings. Sure we have access to technology, we, ourselves, are very slow to change.

A manager must have foresight and empathy. There is an understanding of where to go and what to do and yet get there in a way that will be apparent, even rational, to the entire team. Generally, people dislike change. And offering an upgrade or changing their settings will not remedy that. But the 21st century is full of it. The managers real skill is in how to present new ideas and policies to the organization. She needs the acumen to present a transition in such a way the rest of the group understands it to be a good move forward. Otherwise, a handful of people averse to the change can hinder a new product or service before it ever reaches the market pconfused-employee-with-funny-face_1154-317lace.

Both sides of the chain of command, that is up and down the organizational chart must see the manager as one who is ethical. A lack of integrity breeds skepticism which actually breaks down the chain of command. Without confidence in the center of the organization, the effectiveness of both top and bottom will begin to erode.

Not everyone offered the position of a boss should take it, however. That is a decision that should not be considered lightly.   I have coached several clients who accepted a promotion because it meant more money or they liked the prestige of the title only to later find themselves in over their head. During our coaching sessions I will try to get them up and running as quick as possible with management principles and the occasional advice. More often than not, my job is to encourage the client to view a situation from different points of view. Often the client goes on to be successful in the position, and sometimes not. But a willingness to look at problems from different angles is essential to be a good manager. Just be certain before grandiose plans are implemented, the team is on board with why and how. Helping the team navigate a shift in mindset or how things are done is one of the most important things a boss can do. It may take a little time for some to warm up to the idea of change. Remember, they’re not machines.


A Flux in Time; Dealing with Change

It has been said the only true constant is change, but what exactly is it? Most important, how do we deal with it? According to Google Dictionary, it is “The act or instance of making or becoming different”. My personal definition is that of “a flux in time.” I like my own description because it reminds me that all change, good or bad, it temporary. It’s a bend in our existence, a hiccup in history. The effects of the Coronavirus has given most of us more change than we have had to confront in recent years.

No matter how you define it, all major change is going to be an upheaval to someone’s life. Even what we consider to be good change will more than likely have a negative effect to someone, somewhere. What it boils down to, is a loss of certainty.

A few years ago, I taught an adult Sunday School class and I noticed a recurring theme with many of the lessons. Whether it was about attitudes, a particular sin, or our relationships with one another, the moral was that to truly see God’s Grace, we would need to let go of our own sense of control. That’s when it struck me that we as humans are actually OUT of control more times in our lives than we are in it. Clock and hammer

As a self-confessed “control freak”, that is not an easy thing for me to do. But the universe is much larger than I. Look at how many times a day, decisions have already been made for us. The alarm clock tells us when to wake up. Society or our spouse tell us we should practice personal hygiene each morning. Traffic lights tell us when we may or may not proceed through an intersection. Our boss tells us what we will do that day and when to leave work. Our children tell us how we will spend our evening. Then, we do it all over again, because we have to. More decisions are made for us than we make ourselves and it has always been that way.

Control is an illusion. But we hold onto that illusion because it gives us a sense of security. We like to know what to expect. The world is a much scarier place if we do not know where our next paycheck was coming from, how we would put food on the table, or whether our children will receive an education. Yet, this is exactly what millions of Americans are dealing with now. Once the pandemic subsides, much of what we once knew in the country will have changed. But to what degree? We will have to wait and see.

Business futurist Alvin Toffler stated in the 70’s; “The illiterate of the 21st century will not be those who cannot read and write, but those who cannot learn, unlearn, and relearn.” Many may have to find a new job or learn a new skill if the old employer is no longer there. Some having little in-pocket cash have turned to a barter system or trading with neighbors for necessities. Online or “distance” learning is now the new normal. Change has come at us fast. The one thing we still have is how we decide to deal with that change.

Broken_clockMuch has been mentioned about the psychological and emotional health of those who are “sheltered in place” right now. Over the years, I have noticed those who are happiest and most successful in business are those who are able to adapt to the changing times. Fortunately, this rarely involves changing our core principle, but it does mean making a shift in our perspective. Perhaps we all know someone who still believes the internet is just a fad. In fact, it’s the only way in which most schools, institutions and many businesses are functioning at all right now.

There are a few things we can do to help us deal with change and protect the six inches between our ears. I have compiled a list of half a dozen things that will help us transition during and after this current health care crisis.

1) Flexibility; When I was a young pup in the Army, I had a difficult time of dealing with change, especially when the work for one plan had already been done. Sergeant Finnel, my squad leader once told me “Above all, remain flexible”. I’m not sure why he said it that way, but it is something that I always remember him saying. I’m not perfect, but I do strive to be flexible in the face of adversity.

2) Manage Your Expectations; A lot of discussion had been had as to how long we must hunker down in our homes or exercise precaution when we venture out. Physicians and politicians are not always of the same mind as to how long this will last. It’s probably best to set any hard dates in our minds in order to avoid upset later.

3) Show Appreciation; This may be something we do almost begrudgingly, but it is necessary none the less. At the risk of sounding cavalier, keep things in perspective. There are other countries who are having a much more difficult time with the Coronavirus than us.

4) Limit Your News Intake; How much news did you watch a month or two ago? Was it just half an hour a day? Try to return to that level now. I remember after 9/11 it was reported people not anywhere near the attacks suffered from depression simply because they watched the hour-by-hour reports on TV.

5) Establish Daily Routines; Sleeping in until almost Noon when we normally wake at 6 a.m. is not a good practice. We all know how it feels to return to work just after just a week of vacation. If you are not able to work from home, clean. Organize, paint or take up a hobby for a certain amount of hours a day. Gain back a certain amount of that sense of security by keeping a schedule for yourself.

6) Draw on the Support of Others; If you or a family member begins to feel despondent, be certain to have a conversation with loved ones and express yourself or ask for what you feel you need. Also, be there for others, even online. Someone may be having a tougher time of it than you, though they don’t show it. Check on your neighbors, even if you don’t know them that well. A pleasant conversation with you across the fence could be the best part of someone’s day.

Change is inevitable, but we can help one another through it. This is a time of challenge and we decide how will face that challenge. Our attitude, at least, is still in our control.  No doubt, we will discover things about ourselves we never imagined. What do we want those discoveries to be when we look back at the flux in time?

Blaine Little is the founder and CEO of Momentum Seminars Training & Coaching, helping companies remain profitable by investing in their people. He is also a certified life and business coach. Learn more at 


The Carrot & the Stick

The following is an excerpt from my latest book, “The Individual Team: How Fairness Wrecked the Workplace” available now at Amazon.


Not everyone is motivated in the same way. Perhaps the most basic motivator is how individuals deal with potential consequences. Some respond more to the avoidance of pain rather than the pursuit of pleasure. Unfortunately, the majority of humans fit into the former category. People tend to be more reactionary than proactive. This is perhaps because humans feel comfortable at a certain level and take solace in being there. Why toil for “better” when you can relax and have “good enough”? Only a disruption in that comfort will force a change to be made. Does this mean the majority need to be threatened? No. Threaten one and you may be able to get more productivity out of him, at least in the short term. Threaten another, she may publicly push back or simply slash your tires in the parking lot. However, most people are smart and understand what natural consequences lay ahead for poor performance. We all know those who have been fired for not achieving minimum production, but I have never heard of someone being let go for not breaking the company sales record. Most tend to find a comfortable spot and stay here.

Painting a rosy picture of pay raises and promotions doesn’t work on everyone either. Not everyone else wants to be a manager someday. In fact, most do not. Talk to someone of going beyond mediocrity or “grabbing the brass ring” and they will stare at you in stone silence. Many workers just want to put their time in and leave at the end of the day. It’s as if to say; “The carousel doesn’t move any faster or slower if I grab the damn ring, so why try?” This type of worker is just fine being fine. They do not see the benefit of doing more than is required. Of course, there is nothing wrong with showing up to work and doing exactly that for which one is paid. But at the end of the day, it is the end of the day.

That’s not to say there are not other motivators outside of work, however. Some see work as just a way to pay the bills until their photography business gets off the ground. Or working to spend quality time with grandchildren on weekends may be all they think about. For these employees, security from the notion of a job well done motivates them to work toward their own external goals. A good manager will have an understanding of what those goals are.

So, how does a manager motivate someone who is simply there to pick up a paycheck? First, understand if they are doing what the job requires and not being detrimental to the rest of the shop, then they are doing their job. One should appreciate them for showing up on time and putting in a full day’s work. I have seen managers want

You are not going to change someone else’s priorities. Instead, play to them. At the company picnic, be sure to praise an employee for a recent accomplishment in front of the family. If someone is a budding photographer, ask if they can take the official company photos. These are ways of investing in your team while building a bridge between the two worlds. In turn, they will feel more invested and understand how important that bridge is to them.

Others are specifically looking for a company with advancement opportunities. A secure nine to five would be a complete dead end for these people. Keep in mind they will jump ship for a better opportunity in a heartbeat. If there are opportunities within, they can be instrumental to the company down the road but will have to be engaged with meaningful work in the meantime.

We all want stars on our team, but that comes with a price. If a star is brought onboard with the prospects of moving up the company ladder, she will need to be given a certain amount of responsibility and authority. People like to feel their own forward momentum. Long gone are the days where someone is willing to incubate for two or three years waiting for their predecessor to retire. We have all seen where promises did not pan out and the heir-apparent looks like a schmuck. I have never been a fan of making someone an heir-apparent to a future position anyway. Give them the “assistant” title and make them an heir-obvious.

If you have a beast on your sales force, just remember, you are going to have to feed that beast. Arbitrary caps because the company thinks a salesperson will “make too much money” will see them become someone else’s representative or worse, start their own company and be a competitor. Long team meetings, a toxic office and changing compensation plans are just a few of the things that will see those stars fizzle out.

All of this goes to that old metaphor of the carrot and the stick. How do you get a stubborn mule to move? For some, whacking them with a rod will get the mule up and pulling the cart. While another may only shift from the sitting position to lying in the road in protest of being beat. Whereas, a carrot waved in front of a mules nose will move the animal to the ends of the earth. No, people are not mules to be whacked or bribed, but the analogy does hold true; not everyone is motivated the same way. It is up to the manager to understand the individuals of his team and how to motivate them.

An Historic Meat & Three

Even if you’re new to Murfreesboro, it’s hard to imagine anyone wouldn’t discover the City Café. The century-old diner is a staple and historic landmark just off the Square. The food is good, but so is the company, there are always lively discussions and exchanges of ideas. That’s what attracted the Kellogg’s to the restaurant in the first place; the people.

When they first heard the business was for sale, they realized it was an opportunity to bring a dream to fruition.  Teresa Kellogg and a business partner bought the Café in 2014. In 2017, Teresa’s husband Rollin retired and bought out the previous partner. Now, it is truly a family business. Rollin added baking to his set of skills and Teresa runs the kitchen. The couple says it’s easy to be business partners when you are best friends.


The restaurant first opened on February 10th, 1900. Though it has moved a couple of times, it has always been downtown and been a favorite gathering spot for local residents. It was founded by Dorsey Cantrell who also ran a dairy atop the original location. Though there have been a handful of different owners over the years, the menu has remained largely the same.

Though you can’t get a hamburger for a nickel anymore, you can great home cooking at a good price. The establishment has always provided a hearty breakfast or meat-and-three for lunch. However, that doesn’t stop the owners from changing up the menu every now and then. Rollin offers seasonal pastries and very soon, Teresa will be serving her red beans and rice.

They are open at 6am to go to 2pm every day but Sunday. Currently, dinner is not available though you may reserve the restaurant in the evening for special events. The dinner option is something the owners want to bring back but of course, that means more staff and food items. When asked of when that might happen, they responded we will have to wait and see, but it is something the Kellogg’s are actively working toward.

With MTSU and new businesses popping up, the majority of Murfreesboro residents were not born here. But a visit to the City Café is a great way to take in Middle Tennessee culture. There are old menus and an original sign that adorn the walls. The food is also a nod to antiquity as it is all made from scratch.

But the place isn’t just a throwback to the past. Each and every morning people meet their friends or wait to make new ones and strike up an engaging conversation. It is said if you want to know what is going on in town, this restaurant is the place to be. For years local politicians have held court and pundits have discussed current events. There is also the occasional prayer breakfast upstairs. As Teresa put it; “You may come here as a stranger but you will leave here as a friend.”

A challenge the current owners face is retention of staff, a common issue for all restaurateurs. Though, they have servers who have been with them for years and even employees who have been with the Café for over 30 years. It’s that type of loyalty that keeps good consistent customer service.

As for promoting the business, it was featured on Tennessee Crossroads a while back. Some people will bring friends and family in on Saturdays for live music. Rollin states “You have to utilize the tool s you can use and social media is a big thing.”  You can also check out the daily specials on their Facebook page at

As I ask the owners my closing question; “What gives you momentum”, their response is the love for the restaurant. “It’s the love of what we do. History isn’t alive anywhere… Older people say they remember coming in here when they were in college and now their children come here”, Teresa said.

City Café truly is a Rutherford County institution. On February 10th, 2010, the Café will celebrate 120 years of continual business. That could very well be the longest-running restaurant in the entire state. Whether its breakfast, lunch or one day dinner, check out the City Café. While there, take in the ambiance, homemade food, and history.

Blaine Little is the founder and CEO of Momentum Seminars Training & Coaching, helping companies remain profitable by investing in their people. Learn more at




Those Who Cannot Learn from History…

A good friend of mine reminded me TODAY is when the Berlin Wall “came down”. For some reason, I thought December was when Gorbachev allowed German people on both sides, people, free access. Perhaps it was because people lamented how wonderful it was for families to be reunited in time for Christmas. What I do remember, quite vividly, was the political electricity in the air. “Could this actually be the end of Communism?” Of course, it was… at least for a while.


I was an Army Combat Engineer stationed at Fort Knox Kentucky at the time. Once a year, NATO conducted a countrywide exercise in Germany call REFORGER; Return Forces to Germany. Just after final formation, a call came across the barracks PA system asking for volunteers to serve as a representative group of my unit in Europe the following January. My entire squad hoofed it downstairs to the operations NCO to sign up. There was no way I was going to miss out on this!
Tear-Down-this-WallWe all made the list and shipped off for several weeks in Germany. Like I say, the feeling was electric. Though I never saw the actual Wall, the German people were so happy that they might one day get their country back. The Germans I met had nothing but gratitude and appreciation for us Americans. It appeared the “Cold War”, the stop to the spread of state ownership, was about to be over. As a soldier, I wondered if this would be the last of such a military exercise. Communism was defeated, Democracy reigns!
As I state in my workshop, Dealing with Different Generations in the Workplace, Millennials can be the most positive force in human existence… IF they remember the lessons of past generations. I am concerned given what I see on social and public media today. There are politicians promising “free this and free that”. Of course, nothing is free including freedom itself.
But when people with few accomplishments in their lives lash out against those who are successful, in a classic struggle between the haves and the have-nots, it sounds like a compelling argument. That is until you take a closer look at those who have more, simply


because they or their family worked for it. The free enterprise system is the best form of meritocracy; you have something because you EARNED it.

Look at the pictures within this post. If Communism / Socialism was so great, so fair, so equitable, why were so many people desperate to escape it? Communism is nothing less than organized tyranny. Socialism attempts to do by legislation what Communism does at gunpoint; rob you of your freedom.

Speaking out against Socialism isn’t politically correct today, but then again, I was never PC. Next year, America has decisions to make concerning the direction of the country. Will voters make those decisions based on their feelings alone or will they learn the lessons of a generation ago. Those who cannot learn from history are doomed to repeat it.  

The Present Leader

How does one lead or manage? That has been the central thesis of hundreds of books for hundreds of years. From Sun Tzu to Niccolo Machiavelli to dozens of modern-day military generals, the question has been asked and perhaps there are equally as many answers. It’s not about emulating an exact model, but rather promoting those aspects within a manager’s own personality that will impart confidence on part of the follower.

Image result for WWII generalImage result for WWII generalImage result for WWII general

The fact so many books authored by military leaders should tell us something in and of itself. This begs the question of why we seem to think of military officers when we broach the subject of leadership. Unlike their military counterparts, captains of industry are not responsible for the individual lives of an organization. Indeed, that is a major difference, one for which a military officer can never make a mistake, right? Officers not only study victories, but they also study failures and outright blunders. This is as much to learn what to avoid as it is to understand how to deal with failure WHEN it occurs.

Some would say you must lead from the front. After all, as the cliché goes, “if no one is following you, you are not truly a leader”.  There is a lot of merit in that notion. A shepherd without sheep is just a bum walking through a field. Yet, there are so many high-ranking leaders who move a company from the top story of its office building. Historically, generals are atop hills looking down. What seems to be important is that top-tier leadership is seen by the rank and file, no matter where their office is located. It’s less about being out front than being present.

This goes to what Peter Drucker called “management by walking around”. This is a CEO literally moving about the facility, to the marketing department, operations, HR, upstairs, downstairs, even the basement mailroom. The point is less about glad-handing or even catching someone doing something wrong. This is an opportunity to see what the real problems are and not have to rely on a report, days, weeks or even months later. As Machiavelli wrote; if one is on the spot, disorders are seen as they spring up, and one can quickly remedy them…”. In other words, no prince can rule from a foreign land.


Human beings expect to be led and if the current boss doesn’t fit the bill, the team will vacate the premises, either physically or mentally. Or even worse, they will follow an unofficial leader who may or may not have the same goals as the boss. Even when a manager is present, there will always be an unofficial leader where there are three or more in a group. It’s just human nature. The influence this person has within the team is dependant on what the manager allows and the corporate culture. The thirst for good leadership is so intent, people will even follow a bad one so long as he has a plan, any plan. Just look at the first half of the twentieth century in Europe.

Roosevelt and Churchill, however, took to the airwaves to calm the populous and were often seen in public.  This, even when FDR was in a wheelchair. Though he did not want to be viewed as crippled, he understood the importance of being considered as approachable. They also knew if they didn’t seem to be apparent and available, the public would turn to other sources for their information. Knowledge itself is not power, but carrying it can be.

So, the big question is; what type of manager are you? Do you build relations and communicate with your team, or hide out in the office doing “managerial stuff”? Are you actively leading your people or simply hoping everything works out? Contrary to popular belief, things typically do not have a way of working themselves out. It is better to be seen and available as a support than distant and aloof.

Girlfriday: Every Successful Person Needs an Assistant

Recently, I interviewed a good friend of mine, Takisha Bromell. Bromell always had a knack for organization. In 2017, she started helping real estate agents with their sales and listing contracts, having a background in real estate herself. Despite the encouragement of others, she still thought the biggest challenge lay in herself and the initial seed money, or rather the lack of it.  A friend once told her “Every successful person needs an assistant.” Not being exposed to the concept of an assistant for hire, she sought counsel from business professionals as well as family members who understood what made her tick. Now, she considers her work a labor of love.


Bromell says the best things she can provide other businesses is balance and purpose. She has several clients who operate from a shared workspace or otherwise away from the corporate office. These regional managers or high-level sales reps don’t have an onsite staff anyway, so it makes sense to use virtual assistants.

“How I help the business owner is to create balance in their lives so they can go home and rest assured things are going to get done. By helping them, I create that support system, that foundation so that they can go out and be great. They can do what it is God has called them to do.”

Read the entire Murfreesboro Pulse article here.



Favoritism in the Workplace

A common concern for well-meaning leaders is to avoid the appearance of favoritism. Let’s take a closer look at this. What exactly is favoritism? In its purest form, it is a preference of one person to the exclusion of all the others. In short, it’s a teacher’s pet. Only the leader need not be a teacher, it can be a boss or even a parent. As a foster parent, I have witnessed this latter relationship all too many times. Perhaps this is most apparent between just two siblings. Favoritism does nothing but spur feelings of resentment and a lack of will for much of the life of the disenfranchised.

Most of us would agree anyone who would show more love to one child over another is simply a bad parent. In fact, it’s not about love at all as true love is without strings attached. So why might a parent create such a dichotomy in the first place? In most situations I have observed, it appears to be due to the favorite sibling making life seemingly easier for the parent. Essentially it goes to the self-interest on part of the adult. As stated, it makes for bad parenting, but favoritism also goes for making a bad manager. A team may not be supervision’s children, though they do seek consideration, appreciation, and support just like children. Furthermore, employees deserve consideration, appreciation, and support.

In a large group, those of us who have experienced it first-hand will observe favoritism is generally more than one single person who has the approval of the leadership. In an organization, it’s a partiality toward those who are simply liked by the boss, while everyone else must suffer a bias to work harder, longer and without appreciation. In short, you are either in the club or you are out of the club. Merit, that is to say, appropriate recognition for a job well done doesn’t exist if you have been deemed unworthy for whatever political reason. Just like the slighted child, they will suffer feelings of resentment and a lack of will. This leads to low morale and a loss of production. A leader sets the overall tone of morale within a team and if that morale is low due to a lack of fairness, the boss has only him to blame.