We’ve all met the leaders who are new and who are making mistakes right before our very eyes. We’ve all met them, but have we all alerted them to the three lies they often believe, and more often because no one tells them they’re actually lies? Now that’s a much more difficult question because what we usually see is the veteran leader who looks at the newbie, shakes his or her head, and says “oh, they’ll learn.” At what price do they learn? More attrition? Less productivity? More people problems? What if we just tell them these three lies they seem to believe upon being promoted, not only aren’t true, but aren’t helping their leadership efforts at all?
Well, first it might be good to share which fibs I’m referring to. 😀
First, “I am boss so you have to do what I say.”
Not in this day and age sparky. The new generation of up and comers does not feel the same sense of loyalty the boomers once did and even their betrothed sense of obligation to an organization has waned in recent years. Just because you’re the boss, doesn’t mean you don’t still have to ask, persuade, motivate, and kindly request that something gets done. “Because I said so” or “Just do it now”, left the building of effectiveness and reality about the same time Elvis did.
Second, “They’ve Got No Where Else to Go in This Market.”
Hmmm… ever heard the word Entrepreneur or Home Based Business? An October 19, 2011 article touts a projected 9.1% unemployment rate and a worldwide population of 7 Billion. How many of those folks do you think have a side business at home on eBay or YouTube or something else? Don’t think for a moment that your company is the only game in town and just in case you want to prove otherwise, mistreat those who work with you and see where they go. Didn’t Lady Gaga get her start because someone told her she wasn’t any good or had no other choice? These might be powerful words of motivation, but not of leadership.
Third, “It’s easy.”
While one might think that when you wield the power of the paycheck or the illusion of job security, that your job as a leader might be easier, you would be wrong. A leader’s job is only easy when they have cultivated, respected, and worked with a great team and continue to work with them in a continuous partnership effort. Leadership, which includes coaching, motivation, delegation, guidance, and production of some outcome from the team, does not fair well on auto-pilot or automatic, or what some might consider easy, effort. It’s a daily conscious choice and direction. That doesn’t mean it won’t be fun. It just means it’s not usually always easy.
Somewhere along the way, we’ve given those in the front line the impression that leadership is a glamorous position filled with power and prestige. It’s counter intuitive actually because if that’s the impression we give them as an incentive to work harder for that promotion, then we create such disappointed and disillusioned newly promoted leaders. Why not tell them the truth? It’s hard work, usually longer hours, and at times a huge challenge to make your boss happy and those who report to you happy, and productive, at the same time. But then again, then we’d have to tell them how much we love the challenge and live to see the smile on the face of someone you’ve just helped learn something new. Maybe that’s where the fibs come from and the real secret we’re trying to keep. If others knew how much we enjoyed leadership, they’d all want to do it. 😀