The Hindre™ – Success has a scary saboteur – Part 3 of 3 “The scariest creature in the workplace”


In business the Hindre lurks in the hallways, meeting rooms and work stations. They are dormant until someone threatens the status quo with new ideas, especially if these new ideas come from the wrong people. The Hindre always looks for reasons why ideas will not work and how the ideas of others may work better. They allegedly have the interests of business at heart, when they shift focus and direct their critique to the flaws in your perspectives.

The work of the Hindre has cost companies and countries billions of dollars annually in lost engagement and productivity, revenue and innovation. New ideas are suppressed. People are not fulfilled. Opportunities are passed or missed as the company is deprived of the full richness of its talent pool. On a larger scale entire neighborhoods and countries are deprived of entrepreneurs, leaders and positive role models. The Hindre as the ultimate Devil’s Advocates are running unrestrained throughout our lives.

In meetings they shadow your comments. They come to life when their target begins to speak. When others speak they are relatively quiet, but when you talk, they are on the edge of their seats, ready to launch a counter offensive to pounce on your ideas. Many times they will submarine your ideas as irrelevant and inappropriate, only to repackage as their own at a later date.  Therefore, you should keep track of your ideas, so that when they resurface you can claim credit for them. 

When you are aware of the existence of the Hindre, they are very predictable. Your mindset will to prepare excessively to ensure that your comments are well thought out, yet open for constructive challenge. You can use the presence of the Hindre to make you stronger.

The Hindre is known for discrediting groups of people and diminishing their accomplishments by saying that they are in over their head, they only got here through a special program and alluding that they may not be qualified.

In Talent Management and succession planning meetings the Hindre is present. They shoot down candidates with little objective information, but with a plethora of subjective platitudes. They have done their homework and will twist the facts or limit the admission of positive information that could benefit talent to the organization. The Hindre want to restrict your movement and limit and deny access to people, assignments and information that will make you successful.

We must develop the vision to spot them in a crowd and to know that they exist even though we are not sure of their location. Being hidden may give them power if they can catch you by surprise. But don’t give them power over you. Who gave them the right to think they are the judge over your ability and ideas? Sometimes exposure and the knowledge that you know who they are can rob them of their strength. You can develop techniques to question their comments or answer them in a thoughtful intelligent manner. When you are really skilled you can cast doubt on their motives, which can be risky, without the audience support. If rendered ineffective, they may go away and try to discourage others or think of an alternative way to stunt your development.

What can you do?

You must build confidence and surround yourself with people who are supportive, mentors, coaches, true friends and trusted allies. If you do not place this fundamental fortress of protection in place, they will cause you to doubt yourself, especially if no one is comes to your assistance. You should also control the environment which means limit your exposure to the Hindre’s toxic elements. I am not saying that every critical person or critique is from a Hindre. You must subject the comments to a qualifying test. “If they are instructive and productive, I would accept them. If their comments mean well and will make me better, I will welcome them.” Try to determine the intent and motives of the person, the value and benefits of the comments and the potential consequences of action and inaction.

The Hindre may be powerful. We need to resist, but we may not be strong enough individually to withstand their fury. We need advocates and allies to jump to our defense. We need to cultivate teams of believers who will stand next to us when we are challenged inappropriately.

Some individuals who are not Hindres may ask questions in a Hindre-like manner. The first part of their statement may make sense, but the second half comes across as an attack. They may not have developed the eloquence of speech to clearly state their comments without appearing antagonistic.

In football, they assign a person to follow another player. For example, a linebacker would be told to shadow the quarterback or running back. Everywhere they go he is supposed to be there to stop their forward progress. The Hindre serves the purpose with you. Wherever you go, whenever you interact, they are there ready to respond.

In the movie 48 hours with Eddie Murphy and Nick Nolte, Eddie is an ex-convict who is let out of jail for 48 hours to help a detective catch a dangerous criminal who killed police officers. Nick Nolte is abusive to Eddie throughout the entire movie. In one scene, in a moment of remorse he apologizes for his poor treatment and said he was just doing his job. He was just trying to keep him down.

The Hindre is sometimes motivated by biases and prejudices. They restrict access to neighborhoods for certain groups, membership to exclusive clubs for women, resources to complete a project or proposal.

If you want to soar, the Hindre are like sandbags in a hot air balloon. As long as they are in great supply and lying at your feet you will never get off the ground. The objective is to remove the Hindre from the balloon to enable you to gain the altitude you need. Some sand bags are lighter than others and all of them may not need to be removed at once. They may serve a purpose for you, but you are aware of their presence in case you need them.

It is one thing when professional Hindre try to discourage us, but another when amateurs without any credentials state their uninformed views and we listen to them. Why do we choose to listen or believe them? Is it concern for the relationship that elevates their position and gives them the clout of an expert?

Scary things do not exist only in the night. The Hindre is active twenty-four hours a day, damaging dreams, poisoning relationships, restricting productivity and stifling the growth of communities, countries and continents. The Hindre undermine the joy we could experience without the persistent nay saying, negative nemesis that seeks to deprive us of our greatness. We must be aware of their existence, their presence in our environment and their mission to undermine our effectiveness. We must develop tools to nullify their impact and allies to support us and fortify our positions. The ultimate coup would be to convert them into an ally.

Copyright © 2009 Orlando Ceaser

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