Why should anyone be led by you?

I recently heard this statement at a leadership course I went to – click here if you want to know what course I attended, highly recommend.

Why should anyone be led by you?

Well sheeeezyyyy,  when you say it like that..

Brings it back into context that leadership isn’t about you. Well that’s what I believe anyway. I’m not alone in my thought’s many a great leadership influencers talk about leadership being a privilege, a sacrifice, not necessarily a one way trip to glory (gives me some grounding that I’m not crazy). 

From what I have seen from my …what 13 years of working, even back when I was a McCounter chick, was good leaders going bad. What did we do? Well people respond to their environments, put good people in poor conditions and sad things will happen. Put great people in positive workplaces and see the fire spark alive.. you get my drift.

We incentivize self-centred leadership, maybe accidentally (or on purpose). The minute you make budgets the greatest incentive (cut X% of the wages) you have put money before people, and many leaders will begin putting themselves first. Imagine that you’re not the saint you are perhaps pretending to be, if you were out in a position where the formula was: hey, if you save $15,000 in wages you’ll get that promotion – your entire leadership experience has become about you.

That was an overly simplistic example, but it brings me back to the words..

… why should anyone be led by you…

Because people have options, they aren’t bound to your business – why should anyone stick around and be led by you? What do you offer… is it…

  • impossible deadlines
  • a workplace with immense pressure to impress shareholders
  • being too busy to really care about your team, so you forget what’s important

or..

  • a workplace where people are treated like people, not transactions
  • a team where achieving goals with a purpose matters
  • opportunities for development including the tough, uncomfortable feedback
  • a relationship with you that includes you saying the words “i’m sorry, I stuffed up, how can we fix this together”

I don’t expect the leaders I work with to be perfect. Far from it, kind of like in any relationship, it’s the imperfections and the flaws that draw you closer, it’s the honestly and the candid conversations that build a connection. Pretending your perfect does nothing, because we know you are pretending.

So, why should anyone be led by you?

 

Further reading.. love this excerpt from HBR – https://hbr.org/2000/09/why-should-anyone-be-led-by-you

We all know that leaders need vision and energy, but after an exhaustive review of the most influential theories on leadership–as well as workshops with thousands of leaders and aspiring leaders–the authors learned that great leaders also share four unexpected qualities.

The first quality of exceptional leaders is that they selectively reveal their weaknesses (weaknesses, not fatal flaws). Doing so lets employees see that they are approachable. It builds an atmosphere of trust and helps galvanize commitment.

The second quality of inspirational leaders is their heavy reliance on intuition to gauge the appropriate timing and course of their actions. Such leaders are good “situation sensors”–they can sense what’s going on without having things spelled out for them.

Managing employees with “tough empathy” is the third quality of exceptional leadership. Tough empathy means giving people what they need, not what they want. Leaders must empathize passionately and realistically with employees, care intensely about the work they do, and be straightforward with them.

The fourth quality of top-notch leaders is that they capitalize on their differences. They use what’s unique about themselves to create a social distance and to signal separateness, which in turn motivates employees to perform better.

All four qualities are necessary for inspirational leadership, but they cannot be used mechanically; they must be mixed and matched to meet the demands of particular situations. Most important, however, is that the qualities encourage authenticity among leaders. To be a true leader, the authors advise, “Be yourself–more–with skill.”

 

Advertisements

4 tips to being the worst manager you can be

Why be a great manager, when you can literally be the worst. In fact, some places make it hard for you to be a good manager. So, I’m here to do you a solid favour, here are my top tips to be straight up terrible. 

  • Tell your team how important their ideas are to you and how much you want to talk more about it, then ghost the absolute heck out of them.
  • Check your emails and answer calls when they are in the middle of telling you something they consider important. Bonus points for answering mid sentence and giving them the ‘talk to the hand’ gesture.
  • When your team member tells you a great idea, tell them to get back in their box and shush. Take their great idea and sell it as your own.
  • Cancel their annual leave just before their holiday because “something urgent” came up. Then go on leave yourself.

writers note: don’t do these things, if you laughed, smirked or even had a twinge of “oh yeah I know that one” then do the world a favour and either quit it or tell that evil manager where they can stick it!

You can’t sit with us anymore – giving people the boot. 

Sometimes people turn into sour grapes. They start shiny, they are amazing but it goes to sh%*. Maybe it was you, maybe it was them. 

Whatever the case the fit is all wrong and it’s time for them to move on.They are miserable, you are grumpy – but they aren’t a terrible performer. What do you do? You can’t fire someone for having a “bad attitude” that’s not really substantial.

You start to see the writing on the wall, the manager is getting more hands on, said grumpy employee gets the point and eventually, one way or another the employee departs or sabotages their own opportunities.
Everyone is left with a bad taste in their mouth.

What if we helped people to leave, what if that was the norm. What if we had services internally which allowed people to confidentially access career coaching in a broader sense.

They could get reasonable flexibility to go to interviews, free resume feedback, interview coaching and LinkedIn advice.

What if we were honest and said “yknow what, you hate it here, I can see it in everything you do, so let us help you leave before it goes down a path that neither of us want to be a part of”.

This isn’t revolutionary, I believe company’s who are a bit more forward thinking have similar programs. I want to know why it isn’t the norm.

Nobody wants to work with people who don’t want to be there. So why not give them the option to leave, help them do so. It might even turn around people who realise the grass isn’t greener.

Managers spend a lot of time “managing out poor performers” – why don’t we just call a spade a spade?