Weak leadership creates weak results

Weak leadership creates weak results

Do not fear the bite

Well, this one is a doozie. Not because it’s unachievable, but because you know I need YOU to dig deep on this one.

Poor leadership begets poor performance. But what is good leadership, really?

That’s a big question and I’m sure you’ve picked up many nuggets along the way in reading our weekly blurb. But today isn’t about philosophical questions. It’s about teeth… and no, I’m not outta my mind.

So what are we talking about?

What do you mean, teeth?
One of the great joys of nearly a decade in industry and 2+ years of growing Team Buffalo is I’ve discovered leadership isn’t so much about the hype and grandeur some of the BS puff pieces might have you believe. Instead, there are a few key elements I deeply believe tell me everything I need to know about a leader:

  • Do they do the hard thing, not the easy one?
  • Are they clear on their strategy and where they’re going?
  • Do they believe in themselves?
  • Do they understand and value the role of their stakeholders?
  • AND… do they have the teeth to get the job done?

At some point, in every leader’s career, they (and you included) have to tackle the one thing most leadership pieces don’t address: a lack of will for change from your employees.

A lack of will to change can and will manifest itself from members of your team in the following ways:

  • Avoidance of the topic at hand
  • Gossip
  • Dissent
  • Outright refusal

So what can you do to show them you’re not afraid to bite (remember those teeth I mentioned)?

Be ready for the bite

You’re still reading this and are a switched on leader, so you’re probably asking by now, what do need to do to show the teeth?

Here’s what:

  • Remind those around you that you’re not afraid to step into the fray — The test of leaders isn’t what they do when things are easy, but what they do when things SHOULDN’T be easy. If you see dissension and a lack of will for change, show them that you’re unafraid to hunt the change you know the team needs. While weak leaders will shy away, you have to be unrelenting in your pursuit of the change the team so desperately needs.
  • Make others aware that you will fight for what you and the team deeply believe in — When someone on your team or outside your team does not have the will to change, the teeth have to come out. Not blindly biting, but instead reminding those that you’ll bite people who are unwilling to change through the right means of change. You’re the catalyst and the pursuer, not some leader hiding as change gets stalled by detractors.
  • Use positional power when you have to — If you can’t lead, compel or coerce the change you need, then it’s time to leverage your positional power. If you’re the GM and the team of senior leaders (who report to you) aren’t willing to make the change, then positional power e.g. “do what I say”, is sometimes required. You can’t always change the will of individuals, but you CAN NOT sacrifice progress for a few unwilling detractors.

No what?

If you didn’t read the rest of this or need the “exec summary”, then here it is:

DO NOT be afraid to use your formal power as a leader to force the unwilling detractors of change (e.g. progress) to make the required change. You can’t let a few unwilling team members stall progress. Your ultimate responsibility is to the progress of the company and the team. Bit those who linger or resist change because they don’t want to change.

Your turn. Get stuck in.

Want to binge on more blog bad@ssery?

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