Entitlement Calls For Great Leadership

Entitlement Calls For Great Leadership post image

Entitlement is thirst for leadership. Entitlement builds over years. You can stop it.

Selfish words deceive.

  • “It’s not in my job description”
  • “That’s not what the contract says”
  • “My shift is over”
  • “I did what the customer asked”
  • “Why did that team get tee-shirts?”
  • “Seriously, they call this recognition?”

Listen deeply for pain, dissapointment, and fear.

 “Fixes” That Drive Entitlement

Before fixing, listen more. Attempt to solve the surface complaints, and aggrevate the deeper pain.

1. “Better” Recognition: “Something must be wrong with our rewards.” Form a committee. Ask the people what they most want. A well-intentioned and potentially useful approach in the right scene. Not if entitlement is your problem. More just reinforces “this for that.” (see, Why Doesn’t My Team Feel Recognized)

2. Benchmarking Communications: “Our rewards are great, employees just don’t understand them.” Create glossy benchmarking brochures. Share market analysis. Show how much we spend on healthcare. If it’s really about the money, this may help. Entitlement is seldom about the money.

3. Straight talk: “They should feel lucky to have a job in this economy.” Enough is enough. The paycheck is their reward. Performance manage those who don’t comply. We need to hire better. Truth in all that. Such talk won’t change culture.

Don’t Fix, Listen

Stop talking about the money. Don’t fix your recognition. Listen instead. Grasping for tangible rewards is a sign of a deeper hunger.

Look for signs of…

  • Weak vision
  • Inconsistent values
  • Betrayed trust
  • Broken promises
  • Overwork
  • Depersonalization
  • Fear
  • Insecurity
  • threatening leadership
  • ?
How do you fix and entitled culture?
Filed Under:   Energy & Engagement
Karin Hurt
Karin Hurt
Karin Hurt is a keynote speaker, leadership consultant, and MBA professor. A former Verizon Wireless executive, she has over two decades of experience in sales, customer service, and HR. She was recently named on Inc's list of 100 Great Leadership Speakers, AMA's 50 Leaders to Watch in 2015, & Top Thought Leader in Trust by Trust Across America. Her latest book, Winning Well: A Manager's Guide to Getting Results-Without Losing Your Soul is available now on Amazon and in bookstores.

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What People Are Saying

Eric Dingler   |   05 April 2013   |   Reply

Great post. The things we feel entitled to we will never have gratitude for. Keeping entitlement out of an organizations culture is critically important to the longterm health of the organization. Great list of things to watch for.

letsgrowleaders   |   05 April 2013   |   Reply

Eric, thanks so much for bringing in talk of gratitude. So, so important.

Stan Faryna   |   05 April 2013   |   Reply

“Listen deeply for pain, dissapointment, and fear.”

Beautifully put. In fact, a servant leader listens. And they listen beyond the face value of words for the things that move in the human heart. And that must include expectations.

I have found that often the pain, disappointment and fear may have deeper roots in the individual’s story and past – personal and/or professional. Poverty, trauma and lack of education in the individual’s story can exacerbate issues. And expectations may be irrational on both sides of the table.

Sometimes, the differences may be irreconcilable or change, untenable.

But the important thing for the leader is to have looked at a problem from many sides. And looked with love.

letsgrowleaders   |   05 April 2013   |   Reply

Stan, so great to see you here. Thanks for joining the Let’s Grow Leaders conversation. You are absolutely right on. We often have no idea of the troubles people face behind closed doors. All that influences…. people are complicated. Great leaders support the whole person. Namaste.

Christopher Avery   |   06 April 2013   |   Reply

Excellent excellent Karin. I love this: “Attempt to solve the surface complaints, and aggrevate the deeper pain.”

letsgrowleaders   |   06 April 2013   |   Reply

Chris, thanks so much for your comment. So glad to have you join the conversation.