What Lousy Leaders Do

There’s a huge difference between being a CEO, President, VP, or Director, versus being a Leader.  The first set of circumstances describe someone’s position in an organization while Leader describes one type of management style.  I have met Leaders that weren’t managers and way too many managers that weren’t Leaders.

There are many competencies associated with leadership and I won’t use this forum to discuss them all here, but I will talk about one which, in my opinion, defines leadership.

Consensus building is a fantastic example of a decision making style practiced by many managers.  The problem is, while consensus building is a valuable method of gaining buy-in, it should not be the only way a manager makes decisions!

There will be many times when a problem arises and needs to be dealt with immediately.  On occasions when the manager isn’t sure what should be done and the other team members don’t have strong opinion of the appropriate next step, then that would be an appropriate time for consensus building.

On the other hand, when the manager knows what has to be done, has the ability to do it, and there is a compelling reason to take action, that is clearly not the time for consensus building!

If you’re a manager and you aren’t comfortable making an unpopular decision, your Need for Approval is probably undermining your effectiveness.  Unpopular decisions are sometimes the best decisions but the people who work with you and report to you don’t always know what’s best for them.  Make the right decision.  Make the decision that’s best for your business rather than what’s most comfortable for you and you will become a much more effective Leader.