#JustDoTheOpposite – Six Steps Guaranteed to Improve Your Leadership Abilities
I’ve studied, observed and have been in leadership positions for more than 25 years. I’ve been watching our political leadership these past few months and I would have thought it was impossible to make up a scenario whereby so many basic leadership principles have been broken. The comments that follow, I genuinely hope, are based on objective observations. This has nothing to do with conservatives or liberals, or red or blue states. Here are six leadership observations:
- 1. Authenticity. People would rather follow someone who is real than someone who is right. Always! (Credit goes to Craig Groeschel for this statement)
- 2. Humility. Most people you engage with regularly can “read you” like a book, so admit your shortcomings. Ask for help. Let people know where you’re in need of assistance. Most people really do want to help.
- Listen. There’s no greater way to compliment others or to build trust than to accept the advice of another, and give them credit for your change of direction.
- Welcome. Let people in to your inner circle. You get trust by giving it, not by waiting for people to demonstrate that they’ve earned it. This requires risk on your part, but without risk, there’s no reward.
- Encourage hard truth. Even in the most difficult of situations, encourage directness and honesty without any intent of reprisal. Let people have their say in opposition to your own opinion.
- Common sense. Intuition and experience (yours and others) are most valuable in any situation.
These six points are simply the direct opposite of what I’ve observed from our nation’s leaders in the past month. The political landscape has provided the media with more unbelievable material than even George W. Bush generated on his worst days.
Our country, and the world, are in desperate need of strong leadership that’s based on character, courage, common sense, caring, and wisdom. Regardless of your position in life, what’s one thing you could do today to make a positive difference in the world?
“The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men (and women) to do nothing.” Edmund Burke, 18th century political writer.
If you want to learn what the “do the opposite” observations were…just keep reading.
Here are six “opposite points“ of those listed above that seemed glaringly obvious to me as big leadership mistakes. Sometimes the most obvious are the hardest to spot. So, if you’re looking for a way to guarantee a leadership fiasco:
- Believe that you’re right all of the time. And even if you know you're not right, pretend like you're the smartest person in the room, or the world.
- When presented with irrefutable data that what you’ve said or done is wrong, instead of any admission of error, dig in your heels and do whatever you can to support your previous stance, no matter that it destroys trust, reputations and credibility.
- Breathe the same exhaust all day long, and insist that everyone on your team do the same. Then demand blind loyalty from your closest advisers.
- When your advisory boards and committees, who just happen to be some of the brightest people one could ever recruit, pushback or disagree with you, fire them. Disband your advisory committees and go further into isolation.
- Dismiss, ridicule, and make fun of the past leaders in your organization. And put down those who are still in powerful positions. Continue to attack respected leaders relentlessly.
- Align yourself with some of the most despised and despicable groups in society.
Okay, is this harsh? Am I off base? What do you do when you want to improve a situation that has LOTS of mistrust, pain, anger, difference of opinions that resemble a chasm?
What can you take away from these weird political times to improve your own leadership abilities? You can change the ending to your own story. Life is about choices.
This blog shares my perspective on how you have the ability to create new story endings that are meaningful, powerful and filled with hope. I facilitate culture changing processes that help organizations achieve greater impact. Also, I provide leadership coaching to help executives and aspiring leaders become the fullest expression of who they’re intended to be.
If you're looking for coaching or consulting services - contact me - email@example.com
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