Leading a business can be a real thrill. It comes packaged with a good dose of power and prestige by virtue of position.
It also can be a real challenge for those same reasons.
The reality is, being a successful leader requires that you check your ego at the door. Now don’t get me wrong, having faith and pride in what you do is great. Self-confidence is essential.
But when leaders get full of themselves and start inflating their self-worth, things start to crumble. As an executive coach, I am sometimes called in to help fix an employee or team issue that is, in reality, is a leadership ego issue.
It is my responsibility to challenge them on it for their sake and the sake of the organization.
The bottom line is, leadership is not about being served. It is about serving.
Positional leaders are LINOs (Leaders in Name Only). LINOs are never truly respected, and their effectiveness is limited.
Guard against these LINOs in your own leadership or on your leadership team.
The CEO on Steroids
They can’t and won’t build an effective team because they depend too much on themselves. They don’t trust enough to delegate and, quite frankly, don’t believe they need others. These are the micromanagers who limit team performance.
Advice for this leader: Look in the mirror, lighten up, and let go a little. Remember the old saying, “There is no ‘I’ in Team.” Say it 1000 times every day, while you’re running on the treadmill.
These leaders have little to no commitment to personal growth. They would never think of hiring a business coach, because they truly believe they have already arrived. Their bloated egos block them from taking any advice, and learning is a sign of weakness to them.
Advice for this leader: Acknowledge and learn from your failures. Seek an objective accountability partner. Establish a cabinet of expert advisors – and listen to them. Commit to personal and professional growth on a regular basis.
The “I never make hiring mistakes” Leader
These are the leaders who never admit to making bad hiring decisions, but take all the credit for the one great hire. Meanwhile, turnover is costing the company thousands of dollars a year. Many of these so-called leaders actually believe they can take the bottom 20% of their employee base and turn them around. When that doesn’t work, they blame someone else for it.
Advice for this leader: When you figure out the formula for elevating your bottom 20% above mediocre, let the rest of us know. Until then, cut bait quicker and better, or take yourself out of the hiring process. Use an objective and independent source.
The White Collar Crime Boss
These leaders are so cocky and egotistical that they invent shortcuts, take special privileges, and begin to think they are above the law. As their character plummets, greed and ego escalate to a point of unethical and sometimes criminal behavior. The collateral damage is widespread, both inside the organization and to stockholders and investors.
Advice for this leader: White collar crime is against the law and can bring you down to the level of the elevator beating bandit. Do right and be ethical!
Power and prestige can be either leadership tools – or weapons. We as leaders can use them to serve, inspire others, and to accomplish great goals, or we can use them selfishly, in which case they leave a trail of destruction.
Guard against the LINOs!
Dave Ferguson is “The Leaders’ Coach”, an internationally recognized executive leadership coach, speaker, facilitator, and author. For help in building a truly successful leadership team, “ASK COACH DAVE” at 704-907-0171 or at Dave@AskCoachDave.com.