If a company or country is quite happy with the status quo, then a leader isn’t actually required. The person needed in such a situation is actually a ‘maintainer’. The problem with wanting to stay in one place is that it’s actually impossible. If internal forces don’t cause a business or country to change, external forces surely will.
Having worked for over 30 years as an HR consultant, specialising in working with high performing teams, if I take a call from an owner or manager who says ‘my team isn’t working’ I know that the problem isn’t the ‘team’ it is invariably the ‘leader’. That isn’t to say leaders are monsters. If their team isn’t working there will be several factors at play. The leaders personality style may be causing friction. Their working style may be confusing. Their thinking style may be misunderstood and their future planning skills may be lacking, unexciting or unrealistic. All aspects of leadership and followership that can be raised, discussed, faced, negotiated and worked through. Quite easily actually.
Given my background in understanding leadership and the effects on team dynamics, I was so concerned about a certain country leader getting into power that I decided to write a list of 50 ways a person can avoid causing mayhem as a leader.
I covered lessons 1-10 in an article I called ‘Know yourself: know your limits and respect boundaries’. You’ll find lessons 11-21 in an article entitled ‘Don’t ever take a fence down until you know why it was put up.’ Lessons 21 – 31 can be found in my article ‘Denial is absolutely not a river in Egypt.
Lessons 32 – 42 are as follows:
Lesson 32: Leaders look forward, losers look back
Lesson 33: If you don’t show leadership rest assured, someone else will
Lesson 34: Don’t bully people; don’t let your people bully people and don’t undercut your people
Lesson 35: Be professional at all times
Lesson 36: There is no right way to do a wrong thing: learn from the mistakes of the past
Lesson 37: Never let the lure of money lead you into murky waters
Lesson 38: A leader must find ways to take ALL their people with them
Lesson 39: Be careful whom you recruit; why you recruit them and the impression that gives
Lesson 40: People don’t join organizations. They join great leaders
Lesson 41: Remember your people have teams and agendas also
Lesson 42: Make sure you and your team sing from the same hymn sheet
No-one ever said being a leader was easy. Other than parenting, being a leader is one of the hardest jobs in the world. HOWEVER, if you take on the role, the buck really does have to stop with you. Every leader must be aware that if things are starting to go pear-shaped, THEY have to take full responsibility and work out how THEY are affecting outcomes.
“A teachable spirit and a humbleness to admit your ignorance or your mistake will save you a lot of pain. However, if you’re a person who knows it all, then you’ve got a lot of heavy-hearted experiences coming your way.” – Ron Carpenter Jr
Ann Andrews, CSP. Author, speaker, profiler, Life Member PSANZ
Women Behaving Courageously: How gutsy women, young and old, are transforming the world