Historian and WWII veteran Paul Fussell has the best definition I’ve seen:
“Chickenshit refers to behavior that makes military life worse than it need be: petty harassment of the weak by the strong; open scrimmage for power and authority and prestige; sadism thinly disguised as necessary discipline; a constant ‘paying off of old scores’; and insistence on the letter rather than the spirit of ordinances.”
Yes, America’s Greatest Generation had plenty of chickenshit.
It’s no surprise we do, too.
Substitute “business” or “nonprofit” for “military,” and you would not need to change much else from Fussell’s definition.
Good leadership cleans up chickenshit quickly.
Leadership is the art of inspiring people to contribute their best to your team’s success.
Petty harassment, bullying, upstaging, back-biting, bureaucratic pedantry, gaslighting, and cheap power-plays undermine your team’s performance as people look over their shoulders and cover their butts.
What happens in your halls, slack chats, and zoom calls is more important than what you write on the walls.