Everybody seems to give themselves the title of a leader when it feels good to do so. It is one thing to call yourself a leader and another to show leadership.
This is important in a country such as South Africa if we are to catapult our institutions and organizations to levels of excellence.
Consider these few questions:
- Is there a common definition of leadership in your organization?
- Does everyone promote the same leadership brand?
- Which leadership behaviors do you reward and punish?
- What is the alignment between your values and behaviors that your organization reward and punish?
This is important because all organizations claim that employees are their greatest assets. If there is a disjuncture between what is expressed and the lived experiences of your employees, then we have trouble on our hands.
If you treat your customers better than you do your internal staff then we have a calamity.
I challenge you to revisit your leadership definition and behaviors. Conduct a sense check of how they align with your employees’ lived experiences.
As you do that, I would also like to bring your attention to what I have learned about what leadership is not.
For some reason, most organizations seem to appoint into leadership roles people who are inadequate to carry the leadership flag.
Leadership is not:
- Title: don’t think from a positional power perspective and act like a demi-god. It is a limited way to think of your leadership role. What happens when a title is taken away?
- Self-serving: you are there for the team and the people you are supposed to serve. It’s not about your welfare and self-serving agenda.
- Taking credit: poor leaders take credit when it’s due to their team. They deny their star performers to shine brighter. Give credit to your team to inspire them to do more and perform better.
- Indifference: leaders cannot afford to show a lack of concern and disdain to the concerns raised by their teams. When employees feel ignored, they disengage and leave organizations in the end.
- Intimidation: leaders who use threats, manipulation and bullying tactics create a toxic work environment. Nothing flourishes in toxicity.
- Spin doctoring: some leaders’ default position is to defend even the indefensible to serve their egos. They are keen to get people to look at events for what they are not. Rather be comfortable to admit your mistakes and course correct so that you don’t repeat the same mistakes.
John Maxwell said that “everything falls and rises on leadership”. Are your leaders promoting a value system and behaviors that help your organization to lift and rise or are they working gradually to ensure the fall and destruction of your organization?
Tex Hlalele is a Personal Mastery, Leadership & Organisational Effectiveness Specialist. Book Tex to help you and your team gain insights and possibilities for individual learning and organizational advancement on +2764 656 6174 or visit http://www.dreamsmadepossible.co.za/contact.html. He is the author of the book, Face the person in the mirror.