A Leader’s Flaw: The Alienation of an Employee – Nu Leadership Series

“A scholar who cherishes the love of comfort is not fit to be deemed a scholar.”
Lao Tzu

Have you ever wondered if your organization could improve if you just along with your staff? It can, Leader! The leader-follower connection has a direct impact on the mentoring/discipling process. Let’s analyze a volatile situation. You are doing “good leadership” stuff around your office. Two employees desire your mentoring. Ophelia has a wonderful attitude but lacks charisma. Katrina is an all-around person with a trashy attitude. You can only pick one. You select Ophelia due to her great attitude. Katrina explodes like a category 5 hurricane. You’ve created an enemy.

Favoring one employee over others can create problems for a leader. Hackman and Johnson, leadership gurus, call this person an “alienated follower,” a highly independent thinker who puts her energies in fighting rather than serving. Alienated followers can become disillusioned with their leaders. Therefore, it is critical that leaders focus on the big picture. Will my special relationship with one employee damage my relationship with the rest of my staff? A servant-leader is concerned about all of his organization and helps them toward personal development. Caring is, therefore, a critical component in any mentoring/discipling relationship. Are you ready to build that relationship with your employees…if only for your organization performance? You can, Leader! Start today!


Johnson, C. & Hackman, M. (2000). Leadership: A Communication Perspective. Waveland Press.