Every day in America there are business people that call themselves “Leaders”. But, are they leaders or just the people in charge? There have been volumes written about leadership, but we wanted to take a moment to give the reader a diagnostic tool they could use to test the leadership qualities of those in charge. If you see the people you work with exhibiting any one of these behaviors, you might want to get them professional help. They may be suffering from a condition we call, “Pretend Leadership”!
Do Your “Leaders” Suffer from Any of These Debilitating, Wasteful Symptoms?
Refuse to delegate, then complain about how busy they are
Avoid firing or moving the wrong people out of your company
Avoid investing time to clearly document, train, measure, and adjust the firm’s workflow and processes to meet changing business conditions
Give problem employees unlimited “chances” to change
Deal with uncomfortable or distasteful issues by avoiding them
Use anger and intimidation to manage difficult situations or staff
Measure and use historical data to justify outcomes but do not focus on leading indicators that identify behavioral or organizational changes required for future success
Say “yes” then refuse to be accountable to their promises
8.75 Do nothing, stay complacent and pretend that things will get better on their own.
Only Hollywood pretends. Real leaders cannot afford to pretend. Sometimes it’s necessary to take the bull by the horns and ride it… hard – even if the decision is unpopular in the short term. Is leadership comfortable? Real leaders are comfortable being "uncomfortable" and know that leadership is not a popularity contest.
Pretend leaders often allow themselves to be fooled by popularity. Being “liked” is often confused with being effective. They allow their egos to override their common sense and objectivity. They tend to avoid 'unpopular' or uncomfortable issues or decisions. This may feel good in the short-run but in the long run, the business may suffer from poor decisions that are driven more by a desire to be liked than the objective of improving the performance of the firm.
Real leaders know how to motivate and influence their teams to embrace the right decisions, even if unpopular. This can be accomplished through consistency, honesty, transparency and a track record of accountability for their decisions – both good and bad. Pretend leaders like to blame others for their failures, but take full responsibility for success.
If you suspect you are working for a “Pretend Leader” or worse yet, you saw yourself in the 8.75 symptoms above, get professional help immediately!
In all seriousness, if you find yourself thinking, "there's got to be a better way..." why not give us a call or send us a short message? There's nothing to lose and we promise we won't waste your time. In fact, we truly believe our time together will help bring clarity to your situation and leave you with new insights and hope.
More importantly - we'll leave you with a plan on how to fix what's wrong and get your company back to good corporate health!