I am often confronted with “Leaders” that claim to be good at leading people but when I ask “what makes you good at leading people”? I hear a variety of reasons but what they believe about themselves is not what others see. It seems we are blind to what we present to others.
Leadership Failure Number One: The Decision Maker! Loud, gregarious, back slapping best buddy leader. This is the leader that talks non-stop. The leader that is going to tell us how it will be done with a big smile and fast style. This leader is expressive, controlling and really has no time for discussion, or if discussion is necessary, it is more about telling you that you have a voice, all ideas are welcome and then talks over you to let you know how it will be.
Leadership Failure Number Two: The Micro-Manager! Let’s tell people how it is done, when it is done and then offers advise on how to get it done again. This leader leaves no room for innovation from anyone but themselves. This leader holds everyone accountable. You produce or you fail. This leader excepts no ownership for his style and rather blames others for failed activities.
Leadership Failure Number Three: NOT the decision-maker! This is the leader who does not make decisions. They solicit everyone’s ideas and then sits on the information. They do not make decisions well for fear of failure or making the wrong move. This leader will listen, ask questions then circle back for more.
Each of these styles come from an underlying personal fear of failure. This manifests in a lack of trust in others or self. This fear comes from the very early attachment we receive as infants and is carried on in our adult lives (Duncan). This fear is at our primal level and drives our future choices until we stop to recognize and learn healthier ways to interact. Leaders who do not recognize how they are viewed and are not open to crucial conversations will continue to think they are great leaders and fail to recognize the damage they can create in an organization. We could all tell stories of bad leaders!
Leaders in positions of power need more than a leadership style survey. They need coaching on how they present both verbally and non-verbally, patterns of communication and how attachment fear influences today’s behaviors. As the saying goes ” Leaders are not born, they are created” usually through hard work at both the personal and professional level. Leadership Coaching, executive coaching whatever you want to call it, participate and learn.
Valerie Waterland, MS, ARM, MBB is a Licensed Counselor who uses her education and skills to help leaders become their best version that ensures organizational success. She is a master blackbelt in Lean Six Sigma and a certified ISO 45001 professional. She has been working with organizations for over 25 years to implement sustainable employee gold standard practices that reduce workplace injuries and improve employee engagement. For more information http://safetygoldstandard.com