Category Archives: Character-based Leadership

Ways Leaders Destroy Their Credibility

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If many leaders took the time to be self-aware and accountable, they would discover so much about how they hamper their credibility and effectiveness in their role.

In today’s world of shifting blame, wanting immediate (though unrealistic) results, and rushing from task to task without deep thought, many leader’s today run into traps that an honest self-assessment and shoring up can avoid. Here are some ways that leaders, and perhaps yourself, may be destroying our credibility as an effective and respected leader:

  • Blaming others for a ball dropped on our end
  • Not listening to instructions, expectations, feedback, or requests
  • Pushing through to get results, or other subtle or overt ways of bullying
  • Making hyperbolic claims to generate an emotional response and get a desired outcome
  • Having an unrealistic time frame or expectation
  • Being frustrated at other’s inefficiency or incompetence when they were not properly trained
  • Not communication expectations and being frustrated when they are not met
  • Being late, short in tone, or barely engaged in any personal interaction
  • Calling others to account for failed performance without having all the facts

For any leader to have any success, they must be able to understand their thoughts and communicate them to everyone in their sphere. They must also come to grips with realism, both within themselves and with others, to ensure they know processes and improvement measures. Great leaders speak plainly, with facts, and take the heat for any missteps on their end. Overall, the best leaders are astute at gathering information, communicating if to everyone involved, and processing the feedback to improve performance, expectations, and processes with maximum engagement and minimal disconnect and confusion.

Determine to build these skills within yourself and watch the impact and turnaround your organization will reap from having a credible and capable leader who can properly process what goes on around them.

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How To Change A “Suck Up” Culture

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Do “Suck Up”s persist in your organization?

You know, those people that would rather endear themselves to leadership by behaviors other than doing their job to the best of their ability in the greater interest of the team. They flatter the boss, promote themselves to upper management, pretend to have the best ideas, and

There are many subtle ways a “suck up” can creep into and overtake your organization.

How do you prevent, or even change, a “suck up” culture? Try the following strategies below:

  • Treat all people fairly. If you’re consistent through your leadership in how you treat people, your folks will see that they won’t get extra attention by hanging all over you or creating drama to gain it. People that would tend to suck up want extra favors, attention, and any benefit in their jobs that they can garner. Giving your team equal attention and fair treatment is a great start to ensuring “suck-ups” find a dead-end.
  • Give everyone the same access to resources for their job. Sometimes it’s easy for leaders to give extra resources to the people they like the most. Employees can sense this and make it into a way to leverage their working relationship for extra favors and inside information.
  • Prevent “squeaky wheel gets the grease” syndrome. Employees resent those teammates that always hang around the boss or complain loudly to get extra attention and favors. The most vocal person tends to get the most attention, even if their requests aren’t urgent or important. Prioritize and qualify each person’s request on equal merits to ensure no one whines their way to your ear.
  • Don’t let your ego or the ego of your leadership get stroked. “Suck-ups” know who to praise their boss and stroke his or her ego. It’s natural in those circumstances to give favor to those who make your ego feel good. Practice the example of humility by setting ego aside and don’t let other’s try to leverage your emotions and pride for their benefit.
  • Promote a team culture. Having a strong team culture ensures everyone works together for mutual benefit and not personal gains per se. a strong team environment helps mitigate the opportunity for “suck-ups” to take root and makes sure that your people – and leadership – are committed to a greater cause and focus. Work at instilling a team-oriented culture that will weed out those that would manipulate their bosses.

“Suck-ups” are just leeches with two legs. Their contribution to the organization is nothing more than self-serving and very rarely contributory to the team as a whole. Purposefully cultivate an environment that does not give “suck-ups” a toehold and guard your leadership to be firm in a team approach.

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When Success Begets Hatred

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There is a disturbing culture towards success that seems to be accelerating.

It was not long ago that the majority of success was lauded and looked at with inspiration and a certain level of respect and awe.

Now, more than ever before, success is met with negativity, suspicion, and jealousy.

We have tolerated a global mindset of success not being fair. Instead of allowing legitimate success of hard working people and organizations to inspire us, our world has become a crab colony culture – not willing for another to get to the top of the crate but would rather bring that lone crab down into the masses below.

Instead of celebrating true success, lies are generated and propogated, reputations are permananetly damaged, and other’s accomplishments and work are marginalized.

Why? Because others are not willing to raise their game. They want the easy way out, even willing to compromise their own standards to bring another down and edify themselves. Success points out the shortcomings of those that will not do what it takes, and those achievements hold others accountable for their unwillingness to work harder.

Those that accomplish a great goal are many times reduced to an aberration. And those that have attained sustained success over a period of many years usually find themselves the target of unjust scrutiny that something foul must be at the root of their achievements.

Does this truly happen, you say?

  • Consider those school, collegiate, and professional sports leagues that restructure rules to penalize successful teams and programs to level the playing field and achieve parity.
  • There are businesses, unions, and lobbyists who want regulation to strangle successful companies who succeed legitimately.
  • Big megachurches that water down the truth to generate large crowds and scrutinize more faithful assemblies that don’t compromise their message.
  • Many national and local government officials that follow the law but are excoriated for not crossing the aisle

I myself have been targeted for having a successful team and met with animosity for “showing others up”.

We need to have a reminder of what true success is: hard work, achieving goals, staying true to your values, being uncompromising when pressure is on, and giving people hope in something better. It’s not easy, requires sacrifice, and is the grand design of everyone; not guaranteed, but available for those who will not make excuses and run towards it. It’s a vision that propels and inspires others that they too can achieve those same dreams and benefits in a constructive manner.

We need to hearken back to a respect and strive towards a more positive attitude towards success. If not, we’ll fall more prone to tearing down others rather than celebrating their honest hard work. Just because some people are successful does not mean that there is anything going on.

Sometimes greatness just is …

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