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Are You the Badda Book Badda Boom Leader?

Photo Credit: This article originally appeared at One Idea Away

Have you seen the Badda Book, Badda Boom ad campaign by Choice Hotels?

I was watching late-night television the other evening and this commercial happened to come on. While I appreciate the creativity behind the campaign, I can’t help but view it from a leadership perspective.

How awful of a leader is this guy?

He shuts down everyone else’s innovative ideas (even though he claims to be soliciting ‘brainstorming’) and only rewards those who agree with his ideas. This leadership style is inconsistent, insulting, and will almost always lead to disengaged and frustrated team members.

Are you the Badda Book Badda Boom leader? Here’s what you need to know.

Impact of a Badda Book Badda Boom Leadership Style

When you have a BBBB leadership style, you negatively impact everyone on your team and your overall business culture. Here’s how:

Innovation is shut down

When you don’t reinforce innovation, innovation dies. A BBBB leader not only doesn’t reinforce innovation, they actively discourage it. If you exhibit this leadership style, your employees will start coming to meetings with fewer and fewer ideas and creativity will suffer.

Employee engagement decreases

Your employees need to feel valued to feel engaged in your business. When you dismiss their ideas and insist they agree with you, you devalue their originality and intelligence, and their engagement will inevitably go downhill.

Your reputation suffers

Do you really want to be known as an overbearing leader who doesn’t value the input of your team? If you display a BBBB style, your (negative) reputation will precede you and your recruiting and retention efforts will suffer.

You create unhealthy dependence

The goal of every good leader should be to create a business that can run without them. When you have a BBBB leadership style, you create a dependency on yourself as the source of all ideas and direction. This makes more work for yourself, and can cause a huge delay in productivity.

Improvements to the Badda Book Badda Boom Leadership Style

If you have a BBBB leadership style, I hope I’ve convinced you that it’s damaging to your business. So what can you do to start making some changes? Here are three places to start.

Recognize you don’t have all the answers

If you’ve put a capable and intelligent team in place, you’re wasting their talents by thinking you have all the answers. Your team can help you see situations from a different perspective and come up with out-of-the-box ideas if you simply admit you don’t know everything. They’ll also appreciate when you check your ego and genuinely solicit their opinions.

Learn to ask questions

BBBB leaders usually don’t ask questions of their team, or they ask questions and then don’t listen to the answers. Start practicing posing questions to your team and then keeping your mouth shut (and ears open) as you listen to and process the answers. You’ll probably be amazed at what you learn and how your employees will blossom.

Foster a sense of safety

Do your team members feel safe to share their opinions and ideas? If you’re a BBBB leader, they probably don’t. To create this psychological safety, you need to solicit ideas, listen to what your team has to say, and stop rewarding only those who agree with you. While this will take practice and time, you can still change your style and start fostering a sense of freedom and safety.

The only exception to the above rules is when a crisis hits. Though your team wants to be a part of the normal brainstorming and creativity process, they want to trust you when an actual emergency occurs. This is the one and only time when BBBB leadership can be a positive.

When you display a Badda Book Badda Boom leadership style, you stifle growth, shut down creativity, and create an environment of fear and conformity. If you recognize this leadership style in yourself, try the above tips to start making changes now before your business really starts to suffer.

Trish Cody is an Executive Awareness Coach and Speaker who focuses on optimizing results for business leaders. With over 20 years of experience as a strategic consultant for some of the world’s top Fortune 500 companies, Trish Cody has coached and consulted with senior level teams in planning, designing, launching, and measuring the return for major initiatives. As a Certified Professional Coach and Energy Leadership Practitioner, Trish works with senior level leaders and business owners to raise their levels of self-awareness and create more trust, loyalty and success in their businesses and teams. Contact Trish at

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