The other day I was thinking about the various managers or leaders I have worked with. I realized something profound: Leadership is a Curse.
What on earth could I mean?
These days, I speak and write about leadership. I am fortunate enough to work with some of the most amazing audiences and individual clients, who strive to be their very best each and every day.
But there is another side to leadership. This is the curse of great leadership….
Once you have the opportunity to work under or with a great leader, it is extremely difficult to work for anything less than that. It is shocking to go from working for a great leader to bad leadership. This might happen when you take a new opportunity or they come and take an opportunity in your department. You may stop and ask yourself, “How did this person get this position?” or “They must be listening to outdate cassette tapes, on their way work on their Walkman.”
[pullquote]”To become truly great, one has to stand with people, not above them.” -Charles de Montesquieu[/pullquote]
Here are a few things I have learned from bad leadership that you can take notice of and use with your own development.
1. How to treat others: I have looked at how bad leaders treat their people and thought to myself, ‘do the opposite.’ TI’ve thought about how the actions of bad leaders made me feel and used that information to modify my own behavior. Outstanding leaders know and understand deep down in their heart, their people are their greatest resource and they don’t abuse that relationship.
2. The benefits of listening: When someone is not heard or listed to, it’s a form of disrespect. It only take a few extra moments to make eye contact and fully listen to others. This simple act of listening will pay you back in huge dividends with loyalty, dedication and new ideas.
3. Do as I say and don’t question me: This attitude sends the message I am above you, your opinions don’t matter and I don’t care. This attitude does not build trust or loyalty. It breeds disengagement and a who cares attitude. Great leaders take in feedback and welcome it for their own development.
4. I don’t need new skills: Good leaders are always reflecting on the day and various situations to learn from. Learning from the past is how we are able to change the future. You will find good leaders constantly wanting to improve their skills via books, audio programs, honest feedback, conferences and coaching.
5. Let me keep you small: Bad leaders are intimidated by your learning path and would rather you don’t know more than them. Understand, they are the ones with a confidence problem, not you. When they prevent you from learning and growing you won’t make them feel inferior. Great leaders want their people to be better than them. They develop and build their people up so they will become the next generation of leaders.
What kind of leader are you becoming? Great leaders have the desire to be the best they can for their people, because they are the ones that truly matter. Learn from all types of leaders for you to develop your own unique style of leadership. What will you be known for? Building others up or keeping them small? Ignoring others or deeply listening and hearing what your people want to contribute and share?
Leave your comments below or share the lessons you’ve learned from former bad leaders you’ve worked with,