Thank You All Leaders and Aspiring Leaders
Thank you for committing your time, energy and your lives to developing the capacities of others to feel better, do better and just be better overall. You can never be thanked enough. Your dedication to the betterment of others is not merely a job; it is a calling. You are amazing!
Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!
Leaders and Leadership – Two Different Things!
Unfortunately, when we affirm and celebrate ALL leaders, it is not uncommon for people to comment on the “bad leaders” or the “bad bosses” that they have experienced, or hear so much about. As a matter of fact, my team and I used to be those people; on a crusade to rid all systems of “bad managers”.
We have come to realize that complaining about leaders and/or buying into the “Good Manager-Bad Manager” debate, which is so prevalent today is not helpful at all. As a matter of fact, we believe that blaming leaders is one of the biggest impediments to improving leadership and all the great things that come with it!
Leaders are People. Leadership is a Practice.
Differentiating the leader from the leadership is an essential step in separating the person from the behavior and; the intentions from the impact. It is the first crucial move for minimizing and eliminating the blame that leaders, who are trying their best, feel from others for the less-than-preferred approaches.
We have interviewed more than 15 000 leaders and 100% of them state that they want the best for their people; to be better, do better and feel better. We have never met a leader that wakes up in the morning and thinks, “How can I mess things up for my people today? How can I be the biggest source of stress for them at work and in their life?” Never!
Stop Blaming – It’s Not Leaders
Unfortunately, for a variety of reasons, many people do not experience the positive impact of their leader’s positive intentions. This is one of the biggest dilemmas of our time!
Blaming the leader is not helpful at all!
Everyone can remember being blamed for something that they intended to be a positive thing. It doesn’t feel good. It is not affirming or validating. It contributes to an experience of hurt, confusion, anxiety and even anger, often leading to defensive or dismissive reactions. Rarely, does it create an openness for learning. Even less helpful are the times when we hear, from a second or third party, that people were blaming and/or complaining about a behaviour (or the impact) that we did not intend or, were not even aware of. Ouch!
Start Naming – It’s the Approach
As leaders, we are more open to consider our leadership practice, when we feel safe, valued and supported. We are not open, when we are feeling criticised, judged or blamed as a person; especially when it feels as though our character, integrity or dignity is under attack.
Therefore, it is critical to separate the person from the practice and focus on the behavior we are most concerned about. Don’t blame the leader – simply name the leadership practice and the behaviors we would prefer; those that are more in-line with the positive intentions of the leader.
The leader is not the problem. It is the practice of leadership, or a specific behaviour of the approach that requires improvement. That’s all.
Why This is So Important
Leaders are the most important resource for minimizing bad things and promoting great things. Leaders operate as the number one mechanism for mediating great communication, enhanced engagement, great culture, best outcomes and, they are the number one factor for facilitating and/or impacting employee wellness!
Unfortunately, leaders are reporting that they are tired, overwhelmed and more exhausted than ever. Blaming them as people, will only make the current state for leaders and their people, worse; not better!
Getting to Better: Things We Can Do to Help
Future articles will provide detail and practice examples on the following 5 items; simple things all of us can do to help.
- Distinguish the Person as Leader, from the Practice of Leadership
- Consider the Positive Leader Intention; Not the Impact Only
- Focus on What Leaders are Doing Well and Acknowledge those Practices
- Thank Leaders More Often
- Encourage Leaders to Review their Own Purpose and Page 1 – More about this Here
We, at The CORE Leader, wish you the best on your journey towards Greater Leadership for you and those you work with!