the most frustrating choice managers make

The Most Frustrating Mistake Managers Make

When managers see their role as a small cog in a bigger system they do whatever they can to fit in. They trade power for conformity.

Their team yearns for bold vision, challenging questions, and scaffolding support. But they look up and see weakness, which makes them feel weaker and diminishes results.

Nothing saddens me more than potential leaders who give away their power. Feeling powerless to change the game, they buckle down and support, but don’t inspire.

Somehow they think this approach will inspire loyalty and translate to results. They’re in no position to empower, because they have not power to share. Great leaders generate power and then share it.

5 Ways to Regain Leadership Power

Teams are empowered by power. Be sure you have enough to share.
  • Connected – Build great relationships up down and sideways. Your team longs for a leader who’s in the game, and teaches them how to play it.
  • Courageous – Stop complaining about the system, or what can’t be done. If you really think you’re powerless, step down and let someone else be the leader.
  • Creative – Help your team find solutions in the areas they feel most helpless
  • Challenging – Encourage your team to do more than they ever thought possible. Expect a lot.  Keep raising the bar. Forget benchmarks and establish higher standards. Celebrate progress and build desire for what’s possible.
  • Calm – Stay above the fray. Buffer the madness, but also teach them how to sail in a storm.

Yes, this is part of our crowd-sourced e-book series on the Biggest Mistakes Team Leaders Make, so please share your stories.

Confident Humility: The Conversation Continues

Two of our most popular conversations on Lets Grow Leaders involve the concept of confident humility. See both of these related articles: 9 Ways Confident Leaders Remain Humble and Can We Teach Humility?.

The active dialogue from your inspired comments attracted interest from the extended community. I had the opportunity to extrapolate the converation in an interview with Jesse Lahey on his Engaging Leaders poodcast and in an interview with Mark Tobin. I share each of these conversations today.

Confident Humility: A Podcast

Listen to the podcast by going to Engaging Leader.

Karin and Jesse discuss:

  • Why humility matters so much in leadership
  • Being confident but still remaining humble
  • Five ways to teach confident humility
  • Confidence + Humility = Credibility

Karin and Jesse also address these questions from listeners:

  • Does humility get in the way of executive presence?
  • If the concept of humility was not learned as a child. Do you really think it can be learned in adulthood, especially if the person has already achieved success or leader status?

An Interview with Mark Tobin

Tobin writes:

mark-tobin-200x300“I’m fortunate that practically all my corporate clients genuinely care about leadership and demonstrate this commitment in our engagement. However, many executives claim to be interested in leadership yet their behavior often doesn’t match their speech. I’ve recently crossed paths with a senior leader (not a client) who writes about and demonstrates leadership.

Karin and I both blogged about the coexistence of confidence and humility in leadership and exchanged thoughts (Can Confidence & Humility Coexist In A Leader?). I recently interviewed Karin about our shared thoughts on leaders and leadership.

Read the interview here: Thoughts On Leadership From A Fortune 20 Executive