We see lists all the time of what makes a great leader, but what are some of the other sides of the equation, in terms of not leading well?
How is your leadership dysfunctional? What stands out as areas to improve?
Here are a few key indicators of the kind of leadership and ultimately a leader that needs to reimagine, re-engage, and recommit. Look for these, and if they exist, be committed to change.
So here you go, examples of NOT leading well and consistent killers of momentum for leaders, their teams and organizations:
1. Pointing fingers and blaming others
Blame is getting passed around like a bad virus. Trust is gone. Everyone is cordial but behind closed doors there is deep distrust, driven by fear and insecurity.
2. A focus on the wrong priorities
Not willing to confront the key areas, and a constant default to Sideways Energy. More energy in scheduling lunches than in bringing in new revenue. Spend more time on updating the employee handbook vs getting on the phone and finding new customers. More time on updating headshots on the website than working on the strategic plan for next year.
3. Bad decision making
Making decisions based on whoever pays you the most, whoever screams the loudest, and whoever requires the least amount of effort and pain. Everything starts to become about the lowest common denominator and the lowest barrier to entry.
4. Passing along the decision stick
Counting on someone else to make a decision, other than yourself. Putting things off so that someone else will have to fix them later. Kicking the can down the road as Maxwell says.
5. Allowing bureaucracy to be an excuse for getting nothing done
Here comes the “they” mentality. It becomes about “them” and “us.”
Putting your own personal goals ahead of the team, or the greater cause at play. In this case, the good of the organization takes a backseat to you keeping your office or role or title. Your default is “how will this affect me” instead of “how will this affect the organization.”
7. Arguing constantly
Versus listening and looking to create collaboration and areas of common ground.
8. No one values each other and silos now exist everywhere
Staff meetings and leadership team meetings start getting cancelled on a regular basis. Lack of communication between key people and teams becomes normal. Cliques and gossip become rampant in the void of communication and trust.
9. Lack of empowerment
No one feels able to do anything about the situation.
10. Same old same ole
The work and environment is mundane. It’s boring. Energy is non existent.
11. There is no accountability
People on your team just feel like they can do whatever they want, whenever they want. Everything is last minute and late. Nothing goes out on time, or gets scheduled on time. No one knows where everyone is and can’t find anyone. This will drive your best team members crazy.
12. Not willing to confront the brutal facts
Loss of reality and not willing to confront what is really going on. The leader is living in hopa, hopa land and suffering from Reality Deprivation. A lack of self awareness is prevalent here as well.
13. Vision is gone
Lots of hype but very little true and authentic hope in the future. Lots of promises made but very few promises kept. The painting of a preferred future has turned into a hype machine that everyone sees through.
14. The buck stops here doesn’t exist
No one is ultimately responsible. The responsibility tree has been chopped and split up so many times you can’t really figure out who is driving what and who has responsibility for what.
15. Safe, secure and stable starts to drive the future instead of innovation, creativity, risk taking and courage
Holding on and control is the posture instead of giving, catch and release, generosity and big picture thinking. “Don’t rock the boat” is the inspiration, which quickly becomes uninspiring.
Brad Lomenick is a renowned speaker, sought-after leadership consultant, and leader for 10 years of Catalyst, one of the largest gatherings of young Christian leaders in the nation. He is the author of The Catalyst Leader, and H3 Leadership. More at bradlomenick.com.