Leadership experience is a funny thing. The more I get…the more I see through the behavior of those that claim to be effective in their roles. They talk it up, yet their choices seem to contradict the rhetoric. It happens in the corporate world, it happens in our personal lives, and it happens to those in public life too.
Too Many Examples
The actions of others, above all else, have shaped how I view the responsibility I have as a member of my organization’s leadership team.
Sadly, some of the most poignant examples of behavior I’ve experienced have come from those leaders that preached leadership frequently, yet were absolute failures. Let me share…
– the executive who dropped the f-bomb when he was upset, and threw reports across the conference room table at the team for doing a poor job (when in fact the team was beating the national industry performance average)
– two executives who held an ambush meeting attempting to intimate and discredit another member of the leadership team (when in fact their data was completely wrong and they ended up looking foolish and lost all credibility)
– the executives who secretly tried to undermine a colleague who was clearly the boldest, and most courageous member of the team (their efforts backfired and they were shamed into backing off)
How About You
When you see disgraceful behavior from other leaders what do you do? Is it too scary to stand up to them? Are you worried that you might compromise your own career if you do the right thing?
Are you so self-absorbed that these issues would only matter if they were happening to you?
Guess what? If you don’t take action, no one will be left to help you when it’s your turn.
Jay Kuhns is a human resources executive, leadership coach, speaker, consultant and is the author of Unstoppable Power, Leverage Energy, Risk and Relationships and Advance Your Leadership Career. He is a “Type A” leader who understands that human resources leadership is about high energy, creativity, strong personal connections and making changes that push organizations forward.