Lesson 30º








Difficulties being a leader

Amongst the dangers that threaten the leader and which can determine a negative influence, we can point out the following:

Self-important: all leaders should have a high level of self-confidence, but without being arrogant.

The leader usually moves in high powered circles, he brushes with influential people, his demands are carried out without objections, nobody questions his decisions, his presence instils respects in his subordinates, surrounding him are people that constantly flatter him.

All of these factors can make the leader, little by little, end up feeling self-important, believe that he is superior, infallible, in possession of the truth.

If this happens, he will not listen to other opinions, he will believe that he doesn’t need to ask for advice, he will start turning into an authoritarian person that demands everything through orders.

The leader will become distant, arrogant, overwhelming and the organization will start to loose their respect

All of this will deteriorate the work environment: a self-important leader is not able to motivate. His pride will make him commit mistakes that he doesn’t recognize and mistakes which will affect the rest of the team.

The following paradox happens a lot:

Leaders that stand out more than others, have more reasons to be self-important, however they usually aren’t. It is usually those that hardly have any merits that are usually self-important.

To avoid becoming self-important, it is necessary to cultivate virtue from humility. It is also fundamental to be surrounded by people with personality, people that know how to defend their ideas and can oppose the leader when necessary.

To loose contact with reality: the leader dedicates increasingly more time to strategic topics and starts being concerned with day to day activities, maintaining contact with reality, with work as a base.

Loosing contact with the business base (the clients, salespeople, suppliers, etc) the leader starts to loose fundamental information that he needs in order to understand the business, to anticipate changes, to see where the competitors are going.

The information that the leader receives from his staff is of worse quality, every hierarchal step puts up a filter (the staff start hiding information that they believe will annoy the boss).

Normally, the information that someone higher up in the company gives the leader is not of as great quality as someone lower down.

To remain obsolete: there are leaders that don’t evolutionize, they usually always act in the same way, the way that always worked for them in the past. They don’t seem to realize that in a world of constant change, like the world we live in, it is more complex, and what worked in a determined moment may not be useful a few years.

Complacency: the leader can start to feel satisfied with achievements reached and this can make him lower his guard, to consider trying to maintain the current level of the company, which in a competitive world, like the one we live in, is a tremendously dangerous, which can be the start of the end.

Loss of motivation: a leader that spends many years at the front of the company can end up loosing his illusion for the project.

When an activity becomes a routine, it looses its initial attractiveness, its sense of “adventure” which really encouraged the leader in the beginning and that made him see his job as an authentic challenge.

When this illusion disappears, the leader dedicates less time to his job and his performance suffers immediately.