Has your leadership jumped the tracks?

Leadership is important. Without leadership, people flail, and their efforts dissipate.

While good leaders bring order and find a product that is more than the sum of the parts, poor leadership can bring destruction and pain.

Often, those who are on a negative leadership path fail to see the implications of their behavior because they have already “jumped the tracks”. Without clear vision, a leader walking in this negative space will begin to see the disconnect as a symptom of group problems, and fail to see the source – his or her own issues.

How do you know if you’ve jumped the tracks?

I took time to review several articles on leadership derailment. Two that stood out are TalentQ and Hogan Assessments. In no particular order, here are some of the most common factors in leadership derailment:

  • Isolation instead of Authenticity
  • Hypersensitivity instead of Resilience
  • Bullying or insensitivity instead of Empowering and Cooperative
  • Over-dependence instead of Independence
  • Over-confidence instead of Humility
  • Recalcitrant instead of Adaptable
  • Micromanagement instead of Trust
  • Self-aware instead of self-blind (yes, I made that last word up)

All of these points of derailment can be fixed. Some of these behaviors happen when we are overextended. Others when we are simply blind to the problem, or have unaddressed insecurity. If you are really concerned that you might need an assessment, try this:

Give each of your team a 360 evaluation form, with your name on top. Make sure to include your spouse, board, etc – the best 360’s have 15 or more input partners. Ask them to rate you from 1-10, one being the word on the left, 10 being the word on the right, such as:

Isolation        1     2     3     4     5     6     7     8     9     10          Authenticity

Ask them not to sign it, but to give you an honest assessment. Have the forms returned to your assistant so he/she can compile the information and give it to you in one rating.

Example: Team member 1 gave you a 3, 2 gave you a 7, 3 gave you a 6, 4 gave you a 2, five gave you a 9. Your assistant compiles the information, averages the answers, and you find that on a scale of 1-10, your team has given you a 5.4.

Once you have this information, you can sit with a good counselor or coach to discover what this means for you, and what your next step can be. Your goal is to be the best leader you can. Because you are human, you can’t be perfect, but you can take your leadership to the next level.

If you’d like to talk through this process and discover how coaching can help, feel free to contact me at kim (at) deepimprints.com.