I’m not often intimidated by questions from my MBA students, but this one was a stumper. It’s a question I’ve been wrestling with most of my career. “Why do so many execs choose to take stances of fear and intimidation?”
Why Do So Many Execs Try to Intimidate Their Followers?
It started with our discussion of Amy Cuddy’s Ted Talk on how your non-verbals can impact your
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
“I’ve failed.” Mark’s voice shook as we met to discuss next steps for Lisa, his troubled employee. He’d tried everything to help Lisa succeed. She’d get better for a while, but then her old habits would surface. Lisa was impacting the team and results. It was time for her to find something new. “I can’t believe I couldn’t help her, I’m usually better than
Mark shuts the door and begins the emergency meeting. What he’s got to say isn’t easy, but these guys can handle it. That’s why they “get paid the big bucks.” He minces no words. Stock prices, competitive pressures, time to get it together. NOW. The intimidation factor is high. Fix it fast or else. He would NEVER speak this way to the front line. He’s an inspiring speaker and the
Simon says, following the leader, being line leader at school, many of the messages we share about leadership are simple: “I’ll tell you what to do, and you do it.” And if we’re feeling particularly cranky, “because mommy (or daddy) says so, that’s why” may even slip through our lips. Hardly examples of servant leadership. We must teach our children early and often about
Leaders don’t fail because of skills. Mark Miller, author of The Heart of Leadership, explains that most leadership failures are a matter of heart. I asked Mark for his advice for leaders working to grow other leaders: How do we help aspiring leaders to develop heart-based qualities? A lot of it comes down to mentoring suggests Mark: “Listen a lot. Work to understand their goals, aspirations and
Fred (not his real name) has a beautiful habit. Every time we discuss a strategy, policy, or project, he stops and asks about the “human beings.” His words are transformative. Fred doesn’t speak of “resources,” “headcount” “people” “employees” or even “team members.” He talks about humans.
“How will this change impact the human
One of my favorite leadership classics is Jesus CEO by Laurie Beth Jones. It’s an intriguing read on servant leadership. And so, as a Christmas Eve offering, I share some thoughts on Jesus as leader. Laurie Beth reminds us that in addition to everything else, Jesus inspired sustained results through very human leadership techniques.
1. One person trained twelve human beings who