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(L)eadership - Neogiating The Slippery Slope

Posted May 20 2009 9:33am

We all know people who positively lead others and get things done.  They seem to have been born with the ability to take people to a place of empowerment and help them them reach their goals.  Most of them possess the same characteristics:

  • have a positive attitude
  • forward thinking vision
  • ask questions
  • look at the big picture
  • discover and use other peoples strengths and talents
  • negotiate conflict well most of the time

It looks simple, easy and transparent.  Others think of them as mentors and personal advocates. 

 No one is born with the ability to lead.  We are not given sprinkles of leader ability.   The truth is that everyone has the opportunity to learn and develop into a leader.  Along the way we learn, stretch and grow into leadership in small ways. 

 Leadership as a slippery slope no matter what position or situation you find yourself in.  We can sabotage our own good intentions as these actions appear normal to us. 

What does the slippery slope look along our way to wiping strong leadership and replacing it with self inflicting sabotage.

  1. We become more of a friend with the people we lead then a leader. Whoops, we fall when we need to deliver bad news as to not hurt the “friendship”.  We want to be liked more than lead.
  2. Being extremely empathetic.  This looks like “I feel your pain!’” when being told that another can’t come into work or do this or that for various reasons.  Leaders need to care but not to the point that someone takes advantage of their empathy… and it WILL happen.
  3. Refusing to be the role model that we want others to emulate.  You were chosen as a leader so step up and show the world what that looks like.  Others will rise or fall to that expectation.  Raise others up not push them down with your role as a leader.
  4. Telling others that we do not agree with a management decision and why.  Although we might not always agree with decision, we can position it so that our “opinion” is kept out of the mix.  If you don’t buy in to it, then they won’t either.

Leave your ski’s at home and take the safe way down.  Leading others in business, family or personal can be a rewarding and growing experience. 

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