3 Reasons Leaders Sink
You never succeed when you poke holes in your own boat.
3 reasons leaders sink:
#1. Need for dramatic results.
The desire to make a BIG difference is deadly when it hinders incremental progress. Show up ready to row the boat. Worry about the final destination tomorrow.
Disappointment with small wins sucks the life out of people on the front lines.
- Arrogance needs big wins. Humility is thankful to serve.
- Forget about reaching shore. Execute your best plan today.
Make a small difference today, if you hope to make a big difference tomorrow.
#2. Too much self-worry.
Immature leaders worry too much about themselves and too little about serving others.
The opportunity to lead is earned by rowing with others.
See life through YOUR impact on organizational life. Know the ripple effect of your actions.
Make life easier for captains. If your captain habitually steals the credit for your work, keep serving and look for another job.
Help OTHERS make a difference, if YOU hope to make a difference.
#3. Running like a chicken from turbulence.
Turn into the storm, if you hope to make a difference.
Servant leaders notice how stormy seas impact the crew. Lousy leaders run from turbulence.
You never make a difference when you run like a chicken from difficulty.
- Stand for something.
- Have a point of view.
- Face into the wind.
I know leaders who are successfully leading through turbulence. Their goal is helping OTHERS.
Turbulence creates insecurity and fear. Servant leaders feel the fear of others and respond with courage and compassion. Their teams feel their commitment to serve the best interest of others.
The context of useful help is turbulence.
The more people you help – the more successful you become.
Identify and practice traits and behaviors that help you serve others well.
What sinks leaders?
What key leadership behaviors help leaders succeed on a daily basis?
Dan, Thanks so much for your post today. It sure resonated with me. Your posts help me to remember things I do well, and equally important, things I need to work on and improve.
Thanks Sam. It’s a real pleasure to be of service and to be on the leadership journey with you.
Dan: On this one, “Turn into the storm, if you hope to make a difference.” I’ve found that most are scared to do this, they would rather run from the storm cause if they face it they might fail? So I’ve made a career of turning into the storm and as I do so carving out different solutions to that challenges presented, sometimes I just have to admit I can’t solve it or someone else (a competitor) might have the better option. But hey that is just life. I’ve mentioned it before the best Baseball players are considered stars if they bat .300 that means they don’t make a hit or succeed 7/10 times. If you don’t try you are not going to succeed or even learn.
Thanks Roger. Your comment is well timed. Perhaps some have not come to grips with the idea that failure is part of success. The only time you don’t fail is the time you succeeded. The other thing that comes to mind is redefining success. How about defining success as progress, rather than arrival.
Of course this doesn’t work for brain surgery or flying airplanes. But many of the things leaders face allow for learning as you go.
Dan you are so correct, We sometimes forget that progress forward is good and in some cases incremental over time produces even better long term success. Increment measures allow systems and people to respond better to the “change”. I’ve always stressed with my Son and daughter thru HS and College seek incremental change and success and it works to help them put perspective on things.
Thanks Roger. If we have the patience and grit to dig in and make small gains big gains will happen. In some situations people feel pressure for big wins. Sometimes big wins are artificially manufactured. Undramatic growth takes more time at the beginning, but pays off in the long-term.
What sinks leaders? Those who do not want to be questioned on decisions.
Thanks Michael. Short and brilliant. We have to face the challenges of having decisions questions. Perhaps including others early in the process helps with the questioning later.
Make sure you “evaluate” the storm before you turn into it. Some storms should be sailed around! A peer once stated this as “pick your battles wisely’.
Good call Andrew. You can’t fight every battle. Some battles matter more.
Stand for something. Have a point of view. In my opinion, I think what sinks leaders is the inability to welcome and prioritize their limitations. Failure to make it a priority determines how your engagement appreciates. My limitations defines who I am and imagine to be as a thrive to achieve my goals and that of my team. Making a difference is not the real prize, making it obvious by being actionable and creative about it is. Welcoming feedback stimulates and validates the aims of a great leader. Thanks!
Looking for the BIG score is someone looking to be in the limelight. Narcissism is not a product of an authentic Servant Leader. Realizing and Leading from the mental mindset of Serving others gives one the feeling of tremendous accomplishment. Scoring BIG might bing one huge accolades but it is a behavior that will certainly expose one to others that know he or she did not do it alone. I also runs the high risk of exposure when things go wrong and the one basking in the BIG score can’t correct the situation for a host of obvious reasons. Learn and Embrace Servant Leadership as both an INNATE and INTEGRATED Thinking Leader. It is the only true mindset for Leadership.
I think it’s unfortunate for any to think a small win isn’t worth it! I have been fortunate enough to work around leaders that take a win as a win and celebrate it and share the credit. Servant leadership means exactly what the post meant to go through the rough parts to see the fruits of your labor. We cannot have every ‘captain’ take credit for what’s going on or else teams will fall apart.