The Five Components of Negative Leadership
Paychecks buy compliance, but no one is energized by negative leadership.
Uncertainty and insecurity give birth to some of the most negative aspects of leadership. You end up with toxicity when you stir in pessimism, ungratefulness, and scarcity.
5 components of negative leadership:
Small doses of pessimism, uncertainty, and insecurity add spice to leadership. A little self-doubt, for example, keeps leaders open. The danger is circling the darkness.
1 word – 7 components:
Some of the most honorable aspects of leadership are captured in one word, openness. You see openness when you see:
You shrink every time you close your heart, but leadership expands when you open your heart and your hands.
Openness breeds optimism, the belief that – with diligent effort – progress is possible. There’s nothing frivolous about leadership optimism.
Don’t turn from challenges, obstacles, and problems. Lean forward in the face of relentless winds.
Language of optimistic leadership:
- We can make this better. The pursuit of excellence is persistently reaching for the next level.
- We can solve this problem. Optimism isn’t about pretending things are better than they are.
- We can face this challenge. Teams rise up when respected leaders ask, “How can we take this to the next level?”
Optimists focus on ‘we can’. Pessimists focus on ‘we can’t’.
Optimists turn toward opportunity. Pessimists circle problems.
An open culture:
Of all the things leaders do, creating an open environment may be the most useful.
- Morning greetings. Walk the halls noticing people. “Have a great day.”
- Midday curiosity.
- “How might I help you succeed?”
- “What’s holding you up?”
- “How might I remove an obstacle?”
- Afternoon gratitude. Say thank you before team members go home. Celebrate success.
- Daily conversations about goals and performance. “What are you doing to reach your goals?”
Courage stays open. Fear pulls back.
How might leaders practice openness?
There is a fine line between being too open/transparent and being too closed and guarded. The wise leader knows where that line is.
Thanks Paul. I’ll go with Patrick Lencioni who says, “I don’t believe leaders can be too vulnerable.” Scary!!
Great post Dan although, I wouldn’t necessarily agree with your opening sentence. Compliance, dedication, loyalty, commitment I would say, comes from ‘within’ a person.
“5 components” & “1 word” – all the ‘one words’ used in these, if used in the ‘business world’, can say, mean so much.
Paul Thornton’s comment above is so spot on!
Also knowing when to laugh, laugh with your team, have fun with your team, even if one of the team is having what I would hope (I used to have them) a fun ‘head on the desk moment’, an ‘oh no’, ‘what the heck’ moment.
Thanks Thinker. I wouldn’t put compliance in the same category as dedication, loyalty, or commitment.
Compliance is the goal for government regulations. Compliance is too low a standard for leaders and their teams.
Maybe they should be, although not with a paycheck. Treat, view each equally.
I find that compliance is just sliding by, it can get deeper, minimum compliance taking the low road and is acceptable is some persons eyes. Who will measure? Acceptable is compliant such as Regulatory.
who then controls, regulates the regulatory…
Thanks, Dan. Your article is well timed for some current events at my company. And it’s a good reminder that I have a choice as a leader to help set a positive, constructive tone or play the victim tied to events outside my control.
Thanks Bob. Always a pleasure to serve! Have a great week.
Compliance is demanded – Obedience is yielded.
Obedience is the expectation of a transparent and accountable leader in a healthy culture. Obedience allows for feedback and input – compliance keeps one person in control at all costs. A well-communicated Vision – by an open leader – is a powerful tool for change and excellence.
Thanks for sharing
Some of the leaders I’m working with are struggling with Openness, because they have not yet invested enough in building (deep) Trusting Relationships in their organisation.
This is a short, but effective article. I enjoyed the layout and the content. Unfortunately, there are far too many in leadership positions that have either closed hearts, hands, minds or all three! Thank you for sharing these nuggets of wisdom.