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7 months ago

The Ego ContinuumSAMPLE

a set course for the

a set course for the employee to develop, or to reveal, where they wanted to be. As an active leader, determine the baseline of every person that you support. By knowing that baseline, when they deviate from it, you can easily support them through these issues. You can gently help them correct course back to their baseline. The culture that inactive leadership creates can range from demotivating to toxic. Shitty leaders give little to no feedback to staff, and any feedback that they do provide won’t matter because the employees won’t care. They just feel like a number. They don’t feel like a person, they don’t feel valued, and they don’t feel aligned. Any feedback from a shitty leader is usually negative and without improvement recommendations. Staff will loathe coming into work. Attendance issues will be rife. Staff will be taking advantage of sick time, or they’ll be looking for another job. Worse yet, they’ll be sticking around, but they just won’t care. Running a company based on active leadership means you will have employees that come into work because they want to. They will enjoy what they do and feel supported. In some of my consultative interviews, employees felt neglected for years. They never received feedback and some never even knew who their direct manager was. Years and years of no feedback—talk about silence being consent! If you’re demonstrating shitty leadership behaviours with minuscule self-awareness, then you’re probably displaying traits that appear to make it all about you. Perhaps you are perceived as narcissistic or somewhat volatile. Your staff aren’t too engaged, and they don’t care about the job. They may even fear you. I have worked for shitty leaders who liked when their staff feared them. They thought this was a positive way to keep their team “on their toes”. How long can you balance on your toes? Staff would show up, sure, but they probably don’t have any interest 20 the ego continuum

in hearing what you have to say. Inactive leadership is a shitty situation for both the employee and the manager. Shitty leaders generally hire other shitty leaders, because incompetence breeds incompetence. If I am a shitty leader, I don’t have a clue what being an active leader is about, or I choose to ignore it because it’s all just a bit too “fluffy” for me. I’m not going to be looking for active leadership when I hire my direct team. If I am at the director level and I’m a shitty leader who doesn’t know it, then I’m going to look to hire people like me. I’m egocentric, or narcissistic, or I just don’t care—I want to hire someone and not have to think about it. I’m thinking, if the person I hire is like me then they must be good because I’m great at my job, right? Narcissism at its finest. Jane the Inactive (Shitty) Leader A major company hired me to run their training team. On day one, I met with the director, Jane, and she gave me a few key areas of focus. Great, I thought, at last, Jane was a manager with some direction! Alas, although I had monthly one-on-ones scheduled with her, I was lucky if I was able to reschedule them. as most times they didn’t happen at all. I rarely saw her, and when I did, you bet she wasn’t engaged. There was no personal touch to my welcome or induction. I felt isolated without a clear path or direction of action many times. In meetings, Jane would become aggressive about things that weren’t going her way. Jane would belittle her direct reports in front of others. She was seldom clear on strategy or direction. On a good day, we were stuck in what we referred to as administrative hell. My peers and I would struggle to achieve the irrational deadlines Jane set, only to have her turn around Active Leadership 21

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