We’ve all probably experienced great leadership. Leaders that we enjoyed reporting to, were mentored by and maybe even developed a friendship with over the course of our careers.
You may have also had your share of bad managers. I don’t need to go into detail here. I’ve heard my share of stories about abusive and micro-managing bosses. And I could share a few of my own.
See my great leadership?
Somewhere in-between the great leader and the lousy manager is the medium to poor manager who thinks he or she is a great leader. They wax on about their great accomplishments, how well they treat people and what it is that makes them such great leaders.
They freely share advice to their people in elder-statesman fashion as a service, so that you can be just as great a leader some day.
Two flaws in the great leadership
I’ve found with people like this that there are two very large kinks in the armor. First, they’re quick to point out their great leadership traits, but fail to see their short-comings. Their teachings are based on all that they’ve done well, but they’re rarely humble enough to share lessons they’ve learned the hard way.
The second and more blatant flaw is their need to tell us what a great leader they are. It makes me wonder, if you’re such a great leader, wouldn’t I figure that out eventually? Why do you have to tell me?
We see this organizationally when a consulting firm proposes to a new client prospect. They start out with a glossy presentation that sings their own praises of how long they’ve been in business, how many offices they have and, inevitably, what great leaders their leaders are.
What if they just went in and started talking about the client’s biggest issues? If they helped the client solve their problems, perhaps the client would see that they’re great consultants and hire them. If all they talk about is how great they are, how does the client know if they really are?
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As always, I welcome your comments and criticisms.