How to Strengthen Weak Leadership
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People-pleasing motivates weak leaders. Fear of people prevents weak leaders from addressing tough issues before they escalate to crisis. Weak leaders inevitably weaken organizations.
- Prefer needy people.
- “Instead of confronting individuals they confront the whole team.” Brad Lomenick, author of, “The Catalyst Leader.” Brad said he’d been guilt of sending an email addressing an issue when everyone knew it was just one person.
- Help too soon. Struggle strengthens – Ease weakens.
- Gossip and complain behind closed doors where it’s safe. Gossip is cowardice.
- Dance around hurt feelings and neglect organizational advantage.
- Cover up rather than expose. Whiteout is their favorite product. I checked and they still make a product, sometimes called liquid paper, used to cover up mistakes.
- Avoid tough conversations. I’ve found saying it is easier and more effective than hiding and stewing.
The challenge of family style culture:
Brad Lomenick indicated family culture is way more attractive than traditional corporate culture to young people. But, during our conversation, I realized weak leaders struggle in family style organizations.
It takes more courage to work in relationship
than to perform in isolation.
It’s too easy to neglect hard stuff in a family culture. Brad said you have to communicate more, not less, in a family culture.
“Over-communication prevents assumptions.”
Strength emerges when organizational interests align with personal interests – the stronger the alignment the greater the strength.
Strength and courage elevate organizational interests. The day what’s best for you isn’t what’s best for your organization is the day maximum effectiveness ends.
Weakness and fear prioritize self-interest.
Strength emerges when you seek the best interests of others. Every tough conversation, for example, must be motivated by the best interests of all involved, including the organization.
Check out the great list of leadership W’s on the Leadership Freak Facebook Page. While you’re there, add leadership X’s for tomorrow’s post.
“Weak leaders prefer needy people.” So true. Weak leaders need to be needed…. the trick to leadership is to build your team so they don’t “need” you. That frees you up for the good stuff of leadership, vision, inspiration, development…
Brilliant. Build the team so they don’t need you!
How bout hire people to go on your team who believe what u believe give them stuff to do and get out of their way.
That brilliant too? Hehe
I thought so when I first read it in Simons book.
I think what Simons says is cool! You?
You ought to read the examples he uses to illustrate his point! Ought a strong word, could much nicer.
Shackleton the explorer story how he got his team, amazin stuff.
I particularly enjoyed the part about family culture and relationship. I can say from my present experience that this is very true. Weak leaders stand out in our culture for this very reason.
In the end, too nice isn’t nice for anyone. 🙂
Really great stuff the past 2 days. We had a wonderful excerpt from Brad’s book a few months ago that took on a lot of these points, except from the angle of fake personas — http://smartblogs.com/leadership/2013/04/30/quit-trying-to-be-the-perfect-boss/
Being authentic and open can be difficult and take a lot of work in a family-style culture, but it’s no less easy to be fake or avoid what needs to be done. And I love this line, especially if you need to convey this simply and quickly: “Strength emerges when you seek the best interests of others.”
Thanks for the good word and for extending the conversation with a link to one of Brad’s articles. Cheers
I’ve seen all these issues with leaders. The hardest part is getting them to recognize their flaws, accepting the fact that they need to change and identifying the steps to do so. Thanks for sharing; always enjoy your articles and share them in the office.
Thanks Melissa. You are so right. It’s tough helping people see they need help. If they won’t willingly open up then let them suffer until it hurts enough. Sounds mean but it’s actually compassion.
Try gettin them to watch a video!!!
Oh the Humanity!!!!
SP back to Now!!!!
“Every tough conversation, for example, must be motivated by the best interests of all involved, including the organization.” This promotes positive growth.
Anything I’ve said sounds smart to me… at least right now. 🙂 Cheers
You are awesome and so much fun!
You make learning so easy and worthwhile. It’s hard not to grow following your blog. Thank you for everything.
I enjoyed the conference call which discussed Dr. Cloud’s new book. It’s a great book. I have been sharing tidbits with others because leaders must have boundaries. Some had to purchase their own; my tidbits weren’t enough. They needed the whole meal. 🙂
I read a fantastic book, “Fierce Conversations” by Susan Scott, as part of a leadership training / development program. I found it to be very helpful in utilizing honest communication, with compassion, to deal with difficult situations. I used to be conflict averse, but have grown enough to realize conflict isn’t necessarily a bad thing – and is frequently the catalyst in identifying the best way to move forward. Great post – thanks! 🙂
I just read Tanveer Naseer’s short post called, “How Leaders Create The Right Environment To Resolve Team Conflicts” which is nicely done and also on this same target. I get it in email but I think this link might work: http://us1.campaign-archive2.com/?u=f96744f173818a48e8833c873&id=77ac49701c&e=253f368b14
As so many of Dan’s posts illustrate, this leadership thing is like squeezing a balloon in that so many different things will pop up under different kinds of pressures.
Everyone has strengths, and a slightly opposing view is that that strength under pressure tends to be OVER rather than under-used. It tends to reduce behavioral flexibility and ability to build rapport or to involve others (and potentially lose control, in their minds).
Caterpillars can fly, if they just lighten up.
Great stuff to ponder thanks, Dan.
My W word Wale…means to choose, the act of choosing.
Before the aforementioned, WHY? have mentioned that gem previously, right? LOL
Problem is paradigm about business, WAS competition.
IS now Cooperation. Horray Cooperation!
That is why we have such angst but times, they are a changing.
People Centric Leadership is on the way, here NOW, proven results of not even better, but how much. TONS BETTER!
Those with the most invested in the now useless paradigm will be the last to wake up. No worries. Train leaving with or without you.
Harvard Business School thought enough of Barry Wehmiller to do a case study on just what in the world they were doing. Why not you?
Now a cool dude, Dr Raj Sisodia, Founder of Conscious Capitalism believes business can be a Force for Good, not just profits. Think that is better than Enron, Kodak yada yada yada????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????
He wrote a cool book recently, “Conscious Capitalism: Liberating the Heroic Spirit, gonna read it myself I AM!
So Dudes like this now discovering and writing and interviewing the folks at Barry Wehmiller. Why not you? More on the way!
Great video of their interview now on YouTube.
Or keep regurgitating what 10 years from now folks will be saying, Oh My Gosh, how did we think that was worth sharing with anyone? Why would anyone compete when they could cooperate instead?
Think Brad is onto something Dan, he says align, YEP those strengths of others to be aligned with are those folks Why’s.
People are interested and act based on what drives them, their Why’s.
I like Brad’s contribution number 7!
Yeah get tough, right up in someone’s grill with the tough stuff. Wimpy stuff is for WIMPS.
So, how is it possible it is ok to keep going over a thought model that fails 7 out of 10 folks? How is that possible now that there is another way that works in reverse, works for 72% of the people and not learning and sharing EVERYTHING available about THAT? You are a self proclaimed “How” guy Dan, How is, in the wild world of sports, is that possible?
Oh how oh how is that even possible, but done everyday! Why? Folks invested in what doesn’t work not yet willing to see the obvious! YET!
My sincerest hope is you CHOOSE to WALE! Wale AWAY ALL IN LEADERSHIPFREAK LAND!
Find out who Dr Sisodia is and find out WHY in the WORLD he is interviewing the folks at Barry Wehmiller.
You can WALE away for just 10 minutes, that is the length of the video with him and the folks at Barry Wehmiller.
Come on you got 10 minutes to WALE, don’t ya?
If not, WHY? 10 measly minutes, you have any idea how many of us will waste 10 minutes on completely useless stuff today? Why not spend 10 of those to be wasted minutes checking out something really cool?
SP back to the Wonderific, another W word, NOW!!!! Where IT is all happening!
There is another subversive tactic that weak leaders follow. They immerse fully into the systems and processes of the organisation as an escape zone. They prefer to see human related issues and challenges through system tinted glasses. They remain afraid of raw emotionalism.The weak leader somehow believes that an efficient process which ticks away is the panacea of all problems.
So what could be the way forward?
I come to the realisation that be it as organisations or individuals, it is only when we remain firmly anchored in ‘who we are’, our core values and competences, and allow ‘what we do’ to flow out of that can we hope to be the true leaders of tomorrow.
Lovely thought provoking post!
2.“Instead of confronting individuals they confront the whole team.”
Like Brad, in a previous leadership position, I was guilty of this. I addressed issues and justified the group coaching in my mind that I was addressing “housekeeping issues”. The result unfortunately, was that the person that needed the coaching didn’t recognize that I was speaking to them and the others in the group were frustrated and felt that I didn’t recognize where the coaching really needed to be directed. After a great mentor pointed this out as one of my weaknesses, I have found that approaching situations on an individual basis builds trust and rapport with those individuals.
So glad you highlighted this one, Patricia. It’s easier to generalize and speak to the whole group but generalities seldom achieve specific results. Cheers.
Always trustworthy post. I Love the phrase ” Strength emerges when you seek the best interests of others.” but if these are proved untrustworthy ?
On the economic front, I failed to take action in time.
How I wish more leaders knew these things…
Yes! Weak leaders are insecure and need the constant affirmation (and adoration) of their followers. Love the thoughts, Dan!
Why are we even hiring weak leaders? Surely this is a function of the selection system, be it recruiting or promotion. That’s the problem most organisations face – selecting their leaders. Why do we continually focus on selecting leaders who are individual contributors and who know next to nothing about building, developing and sustaining high performing teams? For most leaders, it’s a popularity contest! They like to give the good news but are found wanting come the time to deliver the ‘not so good news’. From my perspective, we should be getting rid of the weak leaders and focusing on our selection processes to ensure we get the right ones
very important thought you have described , hope it will be awared by every single leader …………
true true true! Lordy I wish I worked for the good ones and not every single bad one…
Couldn’t agree more! Weak leaders fear confrontation and put up with bad situations. It takes courage to confront our own fears first.