- Posted by Janet Zaretsky
- On May 30, 2017
- 1 Comments
When you take a moment to examine your own leadership style, what do you see? A couple ways to look at this is to see if you celebrate other’s accomplishments and encourage them taking risks? It takes real confidence to be an authentic co-creative leader that engenders growth among their team. That is the kind of leadership most people enjoy working for, and want to be. A leader who causes leadership in others.
Also, take a look at; Are you threatened when others are doing what you think is ‘better’ than you or getting more recognition than you? How do you react? Your reaction to anything not going as you think it should is one key to your style. Do you get angry when you react, do you get petty/sarcastic or what? Can you deal powerfully with things not going your way? Do you bully or do anything to get your way? What is your leadership style? Let’s look at this issue from what you may have dealt with in having different leadership styles.
One of the issues my clients deal with a fair amount is being a great leader. That takes some thought, some trial and error and usually some failures and a level of discomfort. There are numerous articles and books written on leadership with very different viewpoints.
Have you ever known or worked for or even practiced the “Do what I say!” type of leader? Generally, when these leaders lead they do get results. We, as people, are conditioned from an early age by our parents and teachers to buckle to authoritarian leaders. It is a workable style for results producing, however, long term, it is my experience that it is detrimental to the team you are leading. If you want to unleash people’s brilliance, you definitely need to nurture an environment that calls for their contribution and allows risk to be rewarded. Being an authoritarian leader is counterproductive.
Authoritarian leadership style may not be so overt as a “Do what I say!” but can also take other forms. It can be loud and bombastic or subtler. For example, it may include coercion/manipulation, bullying, and passive-aggressive type behavior.
In the workplace, where you might be trying to get ahead or even get funding for a project, or attention paid to a project, it is not uncommon to see someone in a position of power playing a “If you do this, I will give you that” type of behavior. How does that make you feel if you are on the receiving end of that? I would bet, not very powerful and certainly not empowered. It feels manipulative and leaves you with distrust. That is not a good leadership practice.
As I said earlier, bullying can be overt or subtle. Overt bullying, we have all seen, and may have been the victim of at some time in our life. In the workplace, it can look like someone of authority not listening to your view, and telling you how it is going to go, despite objections. This is a classic ‘power over’ position which also doesn’t work. The subtle bullying might include not getting you want you ask for despite repeated attempts, being rude or short with you, talking around you and not to you. Not a productive leader, at all. This can also take the form of being passive aggressive, ignoring you and then attacking you. I find this is the style that takes the most toll on team members or co-workers.
When you have a leader who is passive aggressive or a bully, what often happens is that if you are the victim of this behavior you think it is something you did and you respond in kind. You may try to make it better, take the blame, back down and wonder what you did. When you do this, you never have any power and it does not get resolved. When you, personally, are dealing with this sort of behavior from a co-worker, it is important that you stand for whatever it is that is important to you, and may include getting other neutral parties involved to resolve differences. One thing that I was taught many years ago, and have found to be true – if someone is bullying you, the more you push back, the more they bully. You must interrupt the pattern and bringing in another person is often what is needed to move forward.
Being a great leader, takes work. It takes developing yourself and your confidence so that you can be co-creative, so you can encourage growth among your team members. It takes being aware of your reactions and learning to respond thoughtfully and intentionally. Great leaders are developed and you can be the best leader you want to be.