Thursday, October 11, 2007

Why We Don't Practice Good Leadership

  1. Our organization reserves leadership for a select few and every time any of the rest of us lead, we are told that it is not in our job description.
  2. Leadership is some fancy notion that can only be indulged in by people who have large amounts of power or spare time. We have neither.
  3. Leadership requires taking initiative and our bosses want us to stick with the standard operating procedures.
  4. If we fail to lead well, we'll probably get some motivational speech but if we fail to manage well, we'll be punished.
  5. Leadership involves risk. Get too far in front with your ideas and you'll become a target.
  6. Leaders are perceived as threats to the power of those in the next highest tier and there are some mean people up there.
  7. Leadership requires vision and visionaries aren't taken seriously.
  8. If we try to lead we'll just irritate co-workers and lose friends.
  9. We don't have sufficient information or training.
  10. Why should we help the slugs at the top?
  11. We find it hard enough to perform our regular duties and you want us to lead?
  12. If we lead, how will we know if anyone will follow?
  13. Leaders just talk a good game but the managers and employees are the ones who get things done.
  14. Leadership would take up far too many evenings.
  15. It's much more enjoyable to be the wise-cracking critic than to be the leader.
  16. Leadership is unknown territory.
  17. We're too shy and introverted to lead.
  18. We hate the office political maneuvers that are an essential part of leading.
  19. You can't be honest and be a leader.
  20. Few leaders get the credit they deserve.
  21. Good leadership? I'm not sure if that's possible around here.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

How about, "Leadership is a kind of fuzzy attribute and hard to spot, much harder still to teach/learn."

Some of the people I've been pointed towards as being good/great leaders... well... just weren't. They had good ideas. They were motivated to have things happen that required the participation of others. But they didn't *lead* in my opinion, because they didn't model the behaviors they were seeking in others. Which is a main part of my definition.

I'll listen to a smart person and participate with nice people. But will I "follow" someone into unknown territory who doesn't seem to be willing to risk what he wants me too? Nope.