In leadership positions, we all find ourselves in situations where we have to take a difficult position and enforce it. The problem is when we enforce decisions with a dictator-esque style of leadership. A leaders creates a creative atmosphere and develops future leaders, if you have every uttered the line “not everyone is going to agree with or like my style of leadership”, here are some things you should remember.
The value of your leadership cannot be determined by questions
Insecure leaders fear questions and they tend to lead with an iron fist. Now there is no doubt about it, at the end of the day you have to make a decision regardless of popular opinion but how you come to that conclusion is an altogether different matter. Question are necessary, they allow you to view the situation from a different angle. You get to see all sides of the discussion and it allows you to be a better leader in the long run. Squashing questions is in effect telling your subordinates that you don’t value their contributions or their talent.
Passive aggressive power plays relieve you of your talent
I once was part of a team where the lead wanted to conduct surveys. I spent hours drafting survey templates and the emails flew fast and furious. The template versions were sent without project specific questions, and the emails came backs asking what does this mean or what does that mean, instead of template and design review. The end result was the original survey by a preferred team member was ultimately used and my hours of work were unnecessary and unappreciated. The result was that I and other team members left early and the lead was left doing everything on their own. When you have an opinion, have an opinion and be specific. When a subordinate asks what exactly is wrong, tell them. When you are asked how you would like to see it, tell them.
A person’s reaction is not stupid
A reaction is not stupid. It is a response to a situation or conversation. You may not understand it or appreciate it, but accept that you played a part in either creating or facilitating it. I have always stood by the fact that if you feel it, it is valid. So if someone thinks that I make them feel stupid or I don’t listen, I take that seriously because to that person it is the truth. And you need your team members to function, you can’t lead if you have no followers.
Leadership takes as much effort as a marriage and there are no short cuts. You have to learn and evolve as much as the people you lead. To be successful, you have to stop and adjust almost as much as everyone around you. In fact on some occasions it may require more of you than anyone else. Remember that every day you have a chance to start over and be a better leader. While you are building your empire, how are you doing at leading it?