Thursday, September 8, 2011

Patterns which will hamper your success.

"We have met the enemy and his is us."  Walt Kelly.

Leaders form pattens of thinking, action, and inaction for self preservation.  These patterns hamper effectiveness by reducing: accountability, self awareness, the ability to learn and grow, and trust from others.  Here are the three most common patterns I hear which indicate a leader is more concerned about looking like a leader than being a leader.

Blaming the system or other people for their lack of progress. 

Leader's let themselves off the hook by blaming their lack of progress or commitment upon the system or other people within the system.  Leader's create progress; if they believe the system or the people in the system won't allow progress - leaders tend to relieve themselves of the commitment, accountability, and obligation to be their best.  They start to identify themselves outside of the organization or the system. My answer is lead or leave.  These leaders owe it to themselves and the people who are counting on them to lead to make this choice.  These leaders must be accountable to the obligations and expectations of being the best leader they can be in any situation.

Never really being accountable for success. 

Leaders who consistently fall short are often never really fully engaged at what it will take to succeed.  They won't personally engage in the effort to do what it takes, consequently, their results continually come up short.  There is always a plausible reason why their efforts fell short of expectations.  These leaders become experts at creating a story which justifies their results; they learn to look like leader's to protect themselves rather than evaluate their performance to find ways to evolve and improve.  These leader's have not learned to be personally accountable for results.

Endless discussion about a problem without working towards a solution.

These leaders are afraid to fail.  They discuss issues, problems, and solutions but are not committed enough to put the time, effort, or themselves at risk to solve real problems.  Leadership is risky by nature; leader's must go first to show others the way.  Some leader's feel that identifying a problem enough - it is not.  Leader's solve problems or create environments where problems are solved.  Urgency, accountability, and measurable results are valued by leader's who really want to solve problems. 

Check yourself - are you in one of these potential killing conversations to preserve your ego or self image?  Your opportunityl for greater leadership impact starts with a new self awareness and commitment to your next evolutionary step as a leader.

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