Here are four diseases that weaken leaders and damage their ability to produce results through others.
Inability to Control Your Own State: If you want to prove that you have no real power, lose your temper and fly off the handle. An inability to control your own state is a sign of weakness, not power. The greater your ability to control your own state, especially when you are under pressure, the more powerful you are.
Controlling your own state makes you a more compelling, more powerful leader.
Inability to Exercise Patience and Tolerance: Losing your patience and demonstrating your intolerance over things that get under your skin is a sign of weakness. A leader holds people to a standard, but the real craft of leading is in how the leader upholds their standard.
Patience and tolerance when dealing with people challenges demonstrates a type of caring that makes you easy to follow.
Inability to Use Persuasion Over Force: The use of force, or formal authority, is the least effective tool in the leader’s toolbox (even though it is sometimes necessary). Great leaders infuse work with meaning, mission, and values. They use persuasion over force, building their case for a certain outcome, a certain set of behaviors.
Inability to Be Compassionate: It’s okay to be a driver. It’s quite necessary that you hold people accountable as a leader. But your hard-charging drive needs to be matched by an equal measure of compassion. People are not a means to an end. They are the end.
None of this means you compromise your standard. None of this means you are soft when it comes to protecting what matters. All of these ideas mean that you put people first, that you build them up instead of tearing them down, and that you live the values you want to instill in those you lead.
How do you control your own state when you are under pressure? What do you do when you aren’t controlling your state?
What do you do to exercise patience when your patience is tested?
What causes you to resort to force, or formal, organizational chart authority, over persuasion?
Would people use the word compassionate to describe you, even though you are a hard-charging driver? Or would they use some other word?
Subscribe to my weekly podcast In the Arena.