Leader seems to be a term that many people use to describe themselves. It’s similar to expert; everyone is an expert these days. Well, I’m here to tell you this is not true, it could not be further from the truth and is a lie! I get a little passionate about this, I find it annoying. I have written about this in a previous blog post Level 1 Leadership.
So I thought I’d share with you some great ways to fail at being a leader. I am always very focused on what to do to be a great leader. I am missing those who seem to be dedicated to being an awful leader, and there seems to be plenty of these. So if you would like to earn this title, sit back, put your feet up on the desk and grab a pen and paper to take some notes. If you don’t want to earn this title, take note too, these are seven things you want to avoid. The choice is yours ‘leaders’.
- Take your ego on a power trip – yes a leadership position can create the ego monster. This is where confidence turns to arrogance and you prance around the office like you’re a beautiful stallion, looking down at others believing your better than them because you are elite. Keep that up and see how far it gets you! This is a classic in the corporate world and is fascinating to watch…the downfall. It may take a long time, or a short time….but Caesar will fall!
- Assume – have you heard of the saying – Assume – makes an ASS out of U and ME? Having the absence of mind to believe that because you are the leader, you have such strength and clarity in your communication style that all you speak with will understand your expectations and what you are communicating. Thinking your team know what they are doing 100% of the time will indeed come crashing down on you. This is the best way I know to ensure that expectations are not aligned and to make sure the end result will be…let’s say, different to the desired outcome!
- Treat your staff like mushrooms – tell them nothing and keep them in the dark. Tell people what they need to know when they need to know it. Don’t help them to understand where they fit into the big picture and maybe let them hear from a third party how any change will affect the business they have been working in, or how it impacts on their job role or that things have changed in how your need to service clients. They have no right to be involved; after all they may offer a solution or suggestion that may help. Heaven forbid!
- Don’t walk your talk – love this one. This is a sure way for you to blend in with the majority of the leaders out there. Catch the verbal diarrhoea disease that most leaders seem to catch. Make unconsidered promises, tell your team how you’d like the culture of your business to be and what you stand for as a leader, then head to your office and close the door. Sprout everything that sounds great and then take no action to deliver it. This is a sure way to live up to the expectations that most people have of leaders today!
- Live by the philosophy that you will do as I say – dictate to others. Don’t communicate. Most people don’t need to know the compelling reason why they should be doing something or how it fits into the vision of the organisation. Just tell people to do things and they’ll do it. That’s what they are paid to do right?
- Put carrots in your ears – don’t listen to what other people have to say. Your team are ‘below’ you and do not have valuable thoughts, experiences or ideas to improve and strengthen your business. This goes a long way to preventing a culture of innovation and creativity in the workplace. It will also contribute to ensuring you have a staff retention problem.
- Believe you’ve got nothing more to learn – the classic mindset of a poor leader. You’ve made it to the top so you’ve got nothing more to learn. What can other successful people or leaders possibly have to share with you to assist you to grow and further. You’re not interested! Put your stake in the ground with your initials engraved and slam it into the earth. Good on you! You’ve just marked your leadership grave site. Enjoy the slow and painful death you will experience from now.
Do all of these things, some or a combination, you don’t even have to do them well, and I’ll guarantee that you will fail as a leader. You might even have some fun in the process. Want to prove me wrong? Go for it. But you might want to consider the people you will trample, hurt, destroy and loose from your life in the process. My question is, is it worth it?