5 Leadership Danger Zones
Today I am sharing a double-edged sword. Here are five coveted leadership capacities and skills, which can also walk a very fine line into areas of constraint and lead into danger zones.
1. Your Belief in People
This is fundamental to leadership. Leadership is about influencing people and your influence is never neutral. Having this knowledge equips you to know you have a certain responsibility when you wield your leadership influence. Use your leadership powers for good. People are not machines, they do not all react to inputs the way computers and other resources behave. They are the most complicated entities on the planet and your belief in them in central to your leadership capacity. You must be versatile and alert to get the most growth for them and from them.
Rate yourself from 1-10 in this area. (If you look at people as cogs in a wheel, it would be low).
2. Change Intentional For Positive Transformation and Not For Change’s Sake
Some leaders are addicted to change to change’s sake. They initiate new drives and new objectives simply because they need the change from an emotional perspective. Leaders should always be thinking of change as a necessary tool in the positive transformation of an organization or individual, yep, it’s about them or it, not you. If you, as a leader, need some change because you are bored, just make sure it doesn’t affect others in a negative way. See #1.
Rate yourself from 1-10 in this area. (If you are a change addict, it would be low)
3. Taking Responsibility, But Knowing Where The Boundaries Are Located
Leaders are leaders because they accept the reins of responsibility. They step up and lead. They coach and teach. The problem is they also often go across the line and take too much responsibility. When leaders do this, they actually stunt the growth of their followers and set them back, rather than developing them to move forward. Leaders who solve problems for their people will notice them back in a short time with a new problem, with the follower thinking it is completely different, simply because the problem is different.
Rate yourself from 1-10 in this area. (If you are too hands-on, it would be low)
4. Be A Catalyst, But Realize Experential Learning Is Where Growth Happens
Leaders are teachers and catalysts for growth, but sometimes they start to think they are the growth providers rather that the followers’ doing and experience. According to Michael M. Lombardo, Robert W. Eichinger and the Center for Creative Leadership, 70% of learning and development comes from experiences and problem solving, while 10% comes from courses. This is hard on us teachers, but if we stay in the theoretical realm, we do our employees, followers and organizations a huge disservice.
Rate yourself from 1-10 in this area. (If you don’t provide experential opportunities, it would be low)
5. Band People Together As A Team, But Realize Teams Are Made Of Individuals
Leaders like to think of themselves as team builders, and that is one of our responsibilities. Molding and shaping people into groups which make a difference and achieve results is a really satisfying endeavor and accomplishment. A trap leaders sometimes fall into is they go too far in trying to make everyone comply to rules and standards which nullify individual voices and talents to a point of becoming bland. Conversely, these leaders will sometimes put the emphasis of improvement on the system, rather than the individuals individuals involved, removing vital challenges these individuals thrive on improving. The power of many teams is diversity and we sometimes drain that power in the intention of unity and group-think. Leaders who can allow individuals to retain their uniqueness while participating within a team are rare and unique themselves, they have a great sense of role clarity for each, strong team member and use it for a benchmark to help them flourish in the team environment.
Rate yourself from 1-10 in this area (If you succomb to fear that individual talent endangers the team, you would be lower. If you believe the stronger the individual talent is, the stronger the team can be, you would be higher.)
Add up your total score in these five areas and self-evaluate where you think you might have an improvement-oriented need.