Four Beliefs of Dingbat Leaders

There are smart leaders, stupid leaders, and then there are dingbat leaders.

Leadership Freak definition of dingbat:

A ‘dingbat’ is a smart person doing something stupid.*

Smart people do stupid things.

You forget that there’s another step on the stairs and end up breaking your favorite coffee cup. You realize that it’s useful to turn the key to ‘on’ before pulling the starter chord. The car runs out of gas because you’re trying to see how far it can go after the gauge indicates empty.

Dingbat beliefs of smart leaders:

#1. The belief that strengths in one area mean you’re good in many areas makes you a dingbat leader.

A strength is something that places you in the 90th percentile. You don’t have very many. Just because you’re good with people doesn’t mean you’re good at getting things done.

#2. The belief that success is transferable makes you a dingbat leader.

Success is about the team around you. When you hire a high performer, they often stumble because their success was about the team they left behind.

#3. The belief that high performing individuals make good managers makes you a dingbat leader.

Make a list of the qualities of the best boss you ever had. Beside the ‘best boss’ list make a list of the qualities of the best employee you ever had. Do you see the difference?

The best boss has emotional intelligence. The best employees have technical skill.

#4. The belief that your strength is the ‘right’ strength makes you a dingbat leader.

Make a list of all the successful leaders you can recall, famous or obscure. Record their outstanding quality beside each name. Are they all different from each other?

Bonus: The belief that you are exempt from dingbattiness makes you a dangerous dingbat leader.

What are some dingbat beliefs or behaviors that smart leaders fall into?

* Urban Dictionary definition of dingbat