Every week on my CBS Radio show: Career Coach Caroline I get calls or email from listeners asking for guidance about a bad boss. Art Petty wrote a great piece in Management Excellence about Leadership Dragons, the outward behavior by many in leadership roles that prevent them from truly meriting the title of leader.
These dragons manifest into actions according to Petty by stifling creativity, and subverting initiative in teams and organization. Here are Petty’s 4 most destructive leadership dragon issues:
Worship and the Ego – a narcissistic look at the world through a magnified lens of “I” without regard for others. We all have ego, but when it grows out of proportion, it can slash and burn others who refuse to acknowledge it.
Lack of Moral Courage – this dragon feasts on self-doubt and fear and rationalizes decisions even when there is only one clear choice.
Ignore the Tough Stuff – rationalization prevents you from dealing with tough conversations and difficult issues by putting things off for so long that you think others will forget. Guess what? They never forget!
Short-term at All Costs Thinking and Actions – this dragon loves to be worshipped in totality and makes decisions my mortgaging the future to create certainty for here and now.
PLEASE DON’T FEED THESE DRAGONS!
These are dangerous behaviors that should remain locked away but Petty offers some reminders to tame these wild un-leadership beasts and thrive as authentic leaders:
- Remind yourself daily that your preoccupation should be the health and welfare of those around you. Ask: What’ working? What’s not? What can I do to empower you to do your job more effectively?
- You are not fit to lead if you can’t face and deal with your ethical dilemmas in the only acceptable way…the right way.
- Strive to seek out and deal with the toughest issues in front of you. Your own comfort in dealing with these issues is not a priority.
- Create time to think and work on the future with your team. Only you can create this time with your team.
Art Petty closed by writing that there is little that is easy or comfortable about being a leader if you take the role seriously. Others who get what it takes to be a true leader will eventually replace those who let their leadership dragons roam freely.