leave

3 Pitfalls of Poor Management

I’m not sure who originally said this quote, but I’ll credit it to the person I first found it from. At first, this quote may seem a little confusing. How could a person leave something inanimate like a company anyway? I can honestly say I had that same confusion. Until it happened to me.

I worked for a company that I genuinely loved. I enjoyed what they were doing for the community; I thought the vision and mission were solid, and I was growing. However, through a series of rather unfortunate events, I was placed under the supervision of some pretty poor leaders. Through some of my own faults as well, I decided that it would be best that I leave the company. This happened over the course of two months. Now, how is that in that short amount of time, that I would stop loving the organization and be willing myself away from it? It was the managers.

Now here are three things to know about poor managers in regards to your current and potential talent:

1. Poor management chases away great talent. Even as early as the interview stage, poor management can greatly hinder you. If your hiring managers aren’t very good or have a reputation that precedes them, then the best talent you can get will likely be turned off before they even finish their first interview. No great person wants to work for someone who is not great.

2. Poor management discourages employee growth. Insecure managers will purposefully stunt the growth of their “subordinates” in order to further their own careers. These poor managers see the potential talent of an employee, stifle it to protect their position, and, in their insecurity, make working unbearable for the talent. It is a major flaw in poor management not to see that being able to recognize and develop talent in their team is actually a resounding praise for them. It makes them more valuable to the company, not less.

3. Poor management operates with an authoritarian ethic to leadership. This is the dictatorial method of leadership. “No idea is a good idea unless it comes from the leader,” is the mindset of this kind of manager. “You do what I say; no questions asked,” is their mantra. This is a sure way to destroy creativity in the team. It is important to release your people to do what you hired them for after the trust is built. Otherwise, what did you hire them for?

If you’re in a position to do so, examine your managers as the first response to poor performance or high turnover. You might be surprised by what you find.

If you enjoyed this week’s blog, please take a second to share by clicking one of the share buttons below.  You can also subscribe to my blog by providing your email immediately below this post for mobile or on the right side of the screen if you’re reading from a laptop or desktop computer.  Thanks for joining me this week!

passionate

Leaders Are Passionate

I can’t express how true this Steve Jobs quote is. You have to be passionate. Passion is the fire that keeps us moving even when times get hard. Passion is what helps us to continue on when our dreams seem dead. Passion is also the thing that keeps our teams moving because they see it in us and are moved to action by a shared vision.

Barbara Corcoran says also that “you can’t fake passion.” Even if you tried, people would see right through you. There’s no point to faking passion anyway; it would just result in you simply flickering out into irrelevance.

Passion is hard to pinpoint, but it’s not hard to maintain. Strong interests are often mistaken as a person’s passion, but being interested in something is not enough to be the kind of leader that can cast your goals or solutions as a vision. What you’re passionate about is something that consumes you; you can’t let it go, and you don’t want to let it go. Your passion is what you feel you’re on this Earth to do, no matter what anyone else says. When you’re passionate about something, it’s hard for someone to stop you anyway.

I encourage you to take some time and reflect on what you’re passionate about. I don’t believe that one person only has one passion that keeps them motivated. I’m passionate about writing and music (more specifically creating in general), but I’m also passionate about leadership. I am constantly thinking about music and writing (yeah, I’m a nerd), but I am also always thinking about how to be a better leader, what book I’m going to read next to get to that idealistic leadership object I have in my mind, and how to train other people to be better leaders as well.

I’m passionate about other people finding their passions, so I hope this blog was helpful.

If you enjoyed this week’s blog, please take a second to share by clicking one of the share buttons below.  You can also subscribe to my blog by providing your email immediately below this post for mobile or on the right side of the screen if you’re reading from a laptop or desktop computer.  Thanks for joining me this week!

consistent

Leaders Are Consistent

Leaders must be consistent in their mood (see Leaders Are Approachable), but that’s only one aspect of the consistency required of leadership. Leaders also must be consistent in their work, life, and everything in between. Simply put, leaders must be consistent.

I have never met someone who didn’t want to be successful. Even the people with the least amount of ambition want to have a successful life, but how is that done? As the quote above states, it’s about being consistent. But what should we be consistent with? It’s true to say that if you’re consistent with unhealthy, unproductive things, you will still be unsuccessful.

We must be consistent in the fundamentals in order to be successful. For leaders specifically, that means waking up every morning ready to serve, learn,and lead. Those three are the fundamentals of leadership. It will look different for each individual, and it will look different for each industry, but the point remains that you must be consistent in the basic fundamentals – the building blocks – of your craft.

For musicians, this may mean running scales or pounding out your rudiments. For plumbers, this may mean studying plumbing layouts again and again. For basketball players, this may be dribbling or throwing from the line. For leaders, this means reading and keeping in practice with leadership principles. Regardless of what you’re doing, this level of consistency is required from everyone in order to be successful at what they do.

One of my favorite leaders to learn from always says, “You can’t have the glory without the grind.” It’s important to grind out each and every day in order to become better at what you do.

If you enjoyed this week’s blog, please take a second to share by clicking one of the share buttons below.  You can also subscribe to my blog by providing your email immediately below this post for mobile or on the right side of the screen if you’re reading from a laptop or desktop computer.  Thanks for joining me this week!

sacrifice

Leaders Sacrifice

Sacrifice is another one of those hard topics that no leader really wants to talk about. Self-preservation is human nature. We would much rather not sacrifice ourselves for the good of anyone other than ourselves (or maybe a family member or two). Even though sacrifice does not come naturally to human beings, leaders must be willing to sacrifice themselves for their people.

I am not suggesting giving one’s life for an employee; this may be a bit extreme. However, what I am talking about it the willingness to allow credit, raises, and other physical goods pass over you in order to land on someone else. This topic ties very closely with my earlier post, Leaders Are Humble, and I’ll explain how.

The definition of sacrifice is “an act of giving up something valued for the sake of something else regarded as more important or worthy.” Typically, sacrifice is reserved for a more religious context, but, again, I’m not writing to sound quite that extreme. What I’m trying to convey with this thought is that we must count others as being more important or worthy than we count ourselves. This is not to say that we are worthless. Leaders are extremely important, but that extreme importance often leads to arrogance and entitlement.

Sacrifice is a necessity to build trust with another person. It is unlikely a person will trust you if you’re not willing to sacrifice something for their benefit. I don’t know what this looks like for you, but it might be time, a bit of money, or maybe doing something you don’t necessarily enjoy doing. Take some time to reflect on how you might make some sacrifices for the good of others, and watch trust build.

If you enjoyed this week’s blog, please take a second to share by clicking one of the share buttons below.  You can also subscribe to my blog by providing your email immediately below this post for mobile or on the right side of the screen if you’re reading from a laptop or desktop computer.  Thanks for joining me this week!

saul-alinsky-leadership-quote-card

Leaders Confront

“Change means movement. Movement means friction. Only in the frictionless vacuum of a nonexistent abstract world can movement or change occur without that abrasive friction of conflict.”

– Saul Alinsky
I can’t even begin to explain how difficult conflict is. I am naturally conflict averse, so this topic is one of my biggest struggles. This requires so much energy from me, and it takes a lot to motivate me into making this weakness into a strength. Believe me when I say that the following list is just as much for me as it is for you all.

I wrote in an earlier blog (Leaders Learn) about how we as leaders need to hire to cover our weaknesses. This statement is still true, but it is not true all of the time. Conflict resolution is not one weakness that we can just hire someone else to take care of for us. Imagine how much respect we would lose as leaders if we hired someone else to resolve our own personal conflicts.

This week’s quote is very intentional to my purpose for writing this post.  Conflict isn’t going anywhere. Forgive me for generalizing, but we are all a bunch of flawed, mostly selfish people, who, when left to our own devices, will seek our own good above others. Because of this fact (sorry, conjecture/assumption), conflict is going to be a part of our society. Therefore, it is critical that a leader overcome any fear they may have about resolving conflicts, so I have included some really practical ways that will help you on your way:

  • Address the problem head on: This is massively uncomfortable, but I have once heard it said that “conflict is often solved too late, but never too early.” Head off conflict as soon as you possibly can, and this will alleviate many future problems. Don’t let conflicts go underground.
  • Have a mediator: I once had to enlist the help of a mediator to resolve issues I had with another friend, and this was incredibly helpful. You want to make sure that the mediator is unbiased (or at least a loyal friend to both) and objective. In corporate settings, HR departments can typically handle mediation.
  • Think about what the other person wants: As I write this post, I am reading through How to Win Friends and Influence People, and, while I don’t agree with everything he says, he makes some valid points, and all these points refer back to the other person – to think outside of yourself and truly, sincerely love another person.
  • Learn all you can about conflict resolution: The best way to handle conflict is to be prepared for it, and the best way to prepare for conflict is to study its resolution. I did this last summer with two books that I blitzed through because they were so good. Crucial Conversations by Joseph Grenny and Reconcile by John Paul Lederach. Hands down, these are the best books available right now for conflict resolution, and I highly recommend the both of them.

I encourage you to study these resources and recognize how you handle conflict, as well, so you can become less uncomfortable with conflict and tackle issues head on.

If you enjoyed this week’s blog, please take a second to share by clicking one of the share buttons below.  You can also subscribe to my blog by providing your email immediately below this post for mobile or on the right side of the screen if you’re reading from a laptop or desktop computer.  Thanks for joining me this week!