It’s no secret that I get inspiration from anywhere and everywhere for my blogs. The inspiration for this week’s blog came from an iFrog teammate asking me which leaders I don’t like or don’t want to emulate. I don’t see the point in naming bad leaders or calling them out, but I do think we can learn about the characteristics of bad leaders or traits I don’t find consistent with effective leadership.
The three traits I don’t think are consistent with effective leadership are the following:
Selfish or narcissistic behavior
Lack of confidence
Unethical or unauthentic behavior
To me, selfish or narcissistic behavior is in complete conflict with the whole point of leadership. Leadership is about thinking of others and making them feel safe, NOT about your rank in the company. Leaders create environments where people are at the core of everything they do. That starts with creating an inclusive vision and helping people to understand how they can do their best. The most important part of any business is NOT the technology, campus, or fancy website, but rather the individuals who embrace the vision and work their tails off making it happen. Leadership is about being in service to staff and clients. It’s not about “me” – it’s about “we”. The cost of leadership is self-interest.
Confidence is crucial in order to lead. If you want people to follow you, they need to see that you believe in the vision and believe in yourself with the confidence about the next step to take. If you don’t believe in yourself, others will have a difficult time believing in you. It sounds simple, but confidence really makes all the difference. Another aspect of leadership is managing conflict. If a leader cannot or is not comfortable managing conflicts it will be extremely difficult to lead. I’ve seen this before in my career: certain leaders will get defensive if someone asks them a tough question. Where does that stem from? I think it goes back to a lack of confidence. I’ve seen too many so-called “leaders” get rattled by a simple or pointed question that is fair game for an employee to ask. Truly, if a leader believes in themselves, believes in the business’s vision while also understanding the business they are managing, no question is too difficult to handle. As leaders, we can train confidence in others to help them become leaders. People want leaders who believe in themselves but do not think they are better than others.
We’ve seen that the best leaders are transparent, authentic, and extremely ethical. We’ve also seen the best leaders follow a moral compass and are honest, sometimes to a fault. The best leaders realize that leadership is not about a particular position or rank, but instead a frame of mind. Leadership is the ability to think about others, not just yourself. We know about being authentic individuals, but what about authentic leadership? In my opinion. authentic leadership is an approach to leadership emphasizing building the leader’s legitimacy. This is done through creating and developing honest relationships with followers valuing their input and are built on an ethical foundation. Generally, authentic leaders are positive people with truthful self-concepts promoting openness.
So, even though I didn’t name names, and even though I didn’t detail who I would consider a bad leader, I hope you found value in discussing the human traits I don’t feel are helpful to leadership. Leadership is a choice and it’s also a difficult choice with a lot of responsibility. You accept responsibility for the work, the performance, and the well-being of those in your care. I have had the pleasure of working with and working for awesome leaders. I’ve also witnessed others with the rank, but it was obvious that they had not made the choice to be a leader. If we choose to be a leader, that is our path.
Here at iFrog, we have leaders at every level of the organization. We continue to build the best environment possible which ultimately helps us deliver business-altering marketing solutions and technology to our clients. Having a team who feels empowered, secure, and are willing to put themselves out there for their teammates and clients is not an accident, but rather a design and approach.
Myself and my team at iFrog love hearing from teammates, clients, and friends. Never hesitate to reach out to me 24/7 at email@example.com – you can also follow me on Twitter @iFrogCEO!
Be a pirate, have a great day and choose quality leadership! #ifrogmarketing, #ifrogtechnology, #pirates, #PiratesForChange