Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Lacking Leadership?

Bad leadership is like sour mustard on a ham sandwich, you only know what you're missing when you feel the burning sensation on your tongue. Good leadership is like a cobb salad, lots of great ingredients yet nothing overwhelms the taste. I'm sure all of us have had the bitter/sweet taste of leadership - good and bad. I'd argue that many of us experience bad leadership. Why is that? Well, leaders are born and, MOST IMPORTANTLY, made. Unfortunately, most rely on their natural leadership talent and never improve. Keep reading for a great list on some leadership mistakes I've made too... We aren't perfect, but without good leaders no company can survive...!

The picture above provides context to my overall feeling of bad leadership. Whether tangled up with opportunistic thinking, faulty product creation, changing direction, mismanged funds, lack of employee support, as bad leaders we continue to push forward without seeing the danger ahead. Caught so much in the moment, leaders walk face first into the spider web of bad decisions. And caught we are, as we try to maneauver out of certain danger! But, on to the list:

The human resources blog by Susan Heathfield, had an all encompassing list that captured just about all the BAD of a bad leader...
  • Love brownnosers, tattletales, and relatives who report to them. They choose favorite employees and cover up and make excuses for the poor work of their incompetent favorites. They ignore selected people and discriminate against many employees.

  • Fail to communicate, and may not even have, expectations, timelines or goals. Bad bosses change their minds frequently leaving employees off-balance. Bad bosses change expectations and deadlines frequently.

  • Use disciplinary measures inappropriately when simple, positive communication would correct the problem. Bad bosses ignore employees until there is a problem, then pounce.

  • Speak loudly, rudely, one-sidedly to staff. Bad bosses don't provide the air time for staff to respond to accusations and comments. They intimidate people and bully staff. They allow other employees to bully employees.

  • Take credit for the successes and positive accomplishments of employees. They are equally as quick to blame employees when something goes wrong.

  • Fail to provide rewards or recognition for positive employee performance.
So what do you think about this list? Seems like personal characteristics, huh? What I mean is these issues are personal problems. Like I mentioned above, being born as a leader is one thing, improving as a leader is something entirely different. As John C. Maxwell said: a leader is one who knows the way, goes the way and SHOWS THE WAY. It is showing the way that's the hard part - it is what we all have to improve on...

Thank you to for the great picture...

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