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When Protocol & Pyramids Cause CEO Disease

You want to be a legacy leader—a leader of real influence—then beware of protocol and pyramids.

In my keynote speaking all around the world, I talk a lot about how CEO Disease is a detriment to a person’s ability to be a real leader. CEO Disease at its root is a lack of self-awareness.

Two self-awareness blockers are protocol and pyramids.

1. Protocol - There is nothing wrong with protocol in moderation. It’s when you are over-zealous about protocol that it becomes a self-awareness blocker.

Do you care where you sit in meetings? Are you dogmatic about the way people address you? Do you get offended when others don’t get up when you enter the room? I mean protocol is one thing, but this can get silly in a hurry.

Are people on pins and needles around you? Have people around you developed their own strategy to manage you, give you what you want (whether they like it or not), and stay out of your way otherwise?

Are you so regimented that people have no opportunity to use their own creative intellect and bring you out-of-the-box solutions?

Just consider this, rigid protocol might not create an environment where people actually want to follow-you. Are there areas in your life, both at work and at home, where you can relax the protocol and create more joy for the people you lead?

2. Pyramids - Are you a pyramid-builder? Must you have a Mussolini-sized office? Do you care terribly a lot if people notice that you have luxury car, a generous expense account, or a large staff?

There’s nothing wrong with having nice things, doing nice things, and creating nice things. But are you inadvertently trying to one-up your peers and beat the Joneses? Because I promise you, that certainly comes across, and exceedingly so, to the people who look up to you.

Dan-Quiggle-Leadership-ebook-Is-CEO-Disease-Crippling-Your-Company.pngI’m not saying you need to live like pauper. Just be self-aware. Enlist your chief critic to give you the good, the bad, and the ugly of how others perceive you in time and space.

Again, there is nothing inherently wrong with protocol or a certain amount of pyramids, so long as you maintain the will and the skill to see yourself as others see you. 

When protocol or pyramids start to get in the way of the will and the skill to see yourself clearly, that’s when CEO Disease can start to set in—stunting your growth and influence as a leader. 

Learn how to detect the seven symptoms of CEO Disease in my leadership ebook, Is CEO Disease Crippling Your Company? How to Diagnose and Treat It Before It’s Too Late.

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This leadership ebook, is my free gift to you. My goal is to always add value to you on your leadership journey.

Lead well,


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Photo by Stijn te Strake on Unsplash.