How to Stop Stealing Influence and Limiting Your Opportunities

Immaturity shows up thinking about itself.

Maturity shows up thinking about others.

In my immature twenties, I used language in a presentation that offended some and got me in hot water. When it hit the fan, all I thought about was my own pain. I didn’t think about how my behavior damaged our organization and harmed our leadership.

Immature cp. mature:

Two-year-olds focus exclusively on themselves. It’s all about them.

Mature leaders obsess about people.

Mature leaders respect the power and impact of their words and behaviors on others.

Immature leaders feel indignant when their behaviors are called out, as if you offended them.

You’ll never be a leader until you get out of yourself and care for others. (I use ‘maturity’ and ‘caring for others’ interchangeably.)

You might exercise control, pressure people, and boss, but you can’t lead until you care about something more than yourself.

Compare immature and mature:

  1. I’m stressed out compared to I’m stressing others out.
  2. This harms me compared to this injures my boss’s reputation.
  3. I’m hurt compared to I damaged my organization.

Illustration: leadership collateral

Mature leaders earn respect that immature team members squander. When you act irresponsibly, you steal a bit of your leader’s status. Status is one measure of our ability to influence.

Suppose you dropped the ball?

Immature team members think about personal consequences. Mature leaders think about the impact of their unreliability on others.

In other words, when you act irresponsibly you steal a bit of your leader’s ability to lead effectively.

From “I” to “we” – 3 questions:

  1. How is my presence impacting colleagues?
  2. How is my behavior reflecting on my boss?
  3. How does my performance impact customers?

Growing leaders learn to take the perspective of others and consider the impact of their words and behaviors.

What are the signs of immature leadership?

What are the signs of mature leadership?