Leadership Issues – Part 2

As I stated in a previous blog entry, whether it’s management in your company or a coach of your athletic team, misconceptions and misguided attempts to lead are everywhere. Poor leadership can kill an individual’s drive and turn otherwise thriving productive people into malcontents.

I have been associated with people who lost the love of their sport or job simply because of a change in coach or management. Some coaches and managers fail to feed the culture of the team when they fall into the trap of focusing on their training methods or dollars and cents at the expense of losing the things that build the camaraderie that leads teams to their success.

Another common mistake many people in leadership positions make, is to assume that because they had success with their methods at their previous job, it is going to work in their new assignment. If the first law of effective leadership is the ability to care deeply about those you are leading, then the second law is to be willing to adapt your methods to get the most out of the people that you are leading.

If you fail to consider input from the troops you are leading, and you stubbornly cling to your old ways, you are likely to lose their loyalty and also make it harder for them to do their jobs. Conversely, when you listen to and make use of the input you receive from the people you are leading, you engender goodwill and build a culture of trust and respect.

As I always say, ‘The best leaders have an exemplary work ethic and never ask others to do things they are unwilling to do themselves.’ Some managers implore their employees to do whatever it takes to meet their deadlines, while they go off on golf outings and then wonder why those under their charge failed to ‘bust their asses’ to meet those deadlines.

Actions truly do speak louder than words, and many people in leadership positions are woefully unaware of the mixed messages they send when their words and actions fail to match up. Pep talks are only good for morale when they are followed by actions that back up their glowing pronouncements. Leaders lose integrity and their team’s respect when they fail to follow through with what they have promised.

Whether it’s the CEO who glowingly tells his troops about all the new business he’s bringing in quarter after quarter without it ever happening, or the coach who talks of discipline but fails to implement it, they are undercutting themselves and all of their credibility going forward. They essentially turn themselves into the boy who cried wolf, and all of their future words rightfully fall on deaf ears.

So if you want to be a great leader it’s important to remember the following; when you make a commitment you are building hope, when you keep that commitment you are building trust. You cannot just say it, you have to show it. You can’t just promise it, you have to prove it.


You can follow Sam on Twitter @SuperTaoInc


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