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5 Triumphs of Lousy Leaders

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5 Secrets of Lousy Leaders
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5 Triumphs of Lousy Leaders

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Why choose the topic of Lousy Leaders? Most of us say that we want to follow the Great Leaders, that we struggle to find Great Leaders with character, who care about people and their organizations. However, we say that those who are most prominent are the leaders who only support themselves and want to satiate hidden desires of power, acquisition, recognition, and accolades for themselves. One of the problems with Lousy Leaders is how they acquire their positions! Maybe accepting Lousy Leaders is part of a new standard in our new society. Society appears to support or create a level of leadership acceptance. Chosen leaders seem to replicate and be predicated on our society. Based on this idea, we are a society in turmoil and one of divisiveness. Do you think Lincoln, Teddy Roosevelt or Churchill would thrive in this society? Do we, in actuality, support Great Leadership whose proponents exhibit visionary competence, integrity, morality, inclusive growth and development of followers, fairness, and humanistic care of others? Or, do we support the acceptance of political pandering and the desire to have some kind of tribal loyalty, even if it is to a Lousy Leader? In this age of emotional isolation brought about by over-reliance on devices, belonging to something, anything, gives people a group identity, the “us versus them” ideology.

Why choose the topic of Lousy Leaders? Most of us say that we want to follow the Great Leaders, that we struggle to find Great Leaders with character, who care about people and their organizations. However, we say that those who are most prominent are the leaders who only support themselves and want to satiate hidden desires of power, acquisition, recognition, and accolades for themselves. One of the problems with Lousy Leaders is how they acquire their positions! Maybe accepting Lousy Leaders is part of a new standard in our new society. Society appears to support or create a level of leadership acceptance. Chosen leaders seem to replicate and be predicated on our society. Based on this idea, we are a society in turmoil and one of divisiveness. Do you think Lincoln, Teddy Roosevelt or Churchill would thrive in this society? Do we, in actuality, support Great Leadership whose proponents exhibit visionary competence, integrity, morality, inclusive growth and development of followers, fairness, and humanistic care of others? Or, do we support the acceptance of political pandering and the desire to have some kind of tribal loyalty, even if it is to a Lousy Leader? In this age of emotional isolation brought about by over-reliance on devices, belonging to something, anything, gives people a group identity, the “us versus them” ideology.

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5 Triumphs of Lousy Leaders

  1. 1. 5 Triumphs of Lousy Leaders (In Their Own Mind) Rex Gatto Ph.D., BCC This is the third article in a trilogy on Lousy Leaders: first, The 7 Habits of Lousy Leaders and second, The 5 Secrets of Lousy Leaders. Why choose the topic of Lousy Leaders? Most of us say that we want to follow the Great Leaders, that we struggle to find Great Leaders with character, who care about people and their organizations. However, we say that those who are most prominent are the leaders who only support themselves and want to satiate hidden desires of power, acquisition, recognition, and accolades for themselves. One of the problems with Lousy Leaders is how they acquire their positions! Maybe accepting Lousy Leaders is part of a new standard in our new society. Society appears to support or create a level of leadership acceptance. Chosen leaders seem to replicate and be predicated on our society. Based on this idea, we are a society in turmoil and one of divisiveness. Do you think Lincoln, Teddy Roosevelt or Churchill would thrive in this society? Do we, in actuality, support Great Leadership whose proponents exhibit visionary competence, integrity, morality, inclusive growth and development of followers, fairness, and humanistic care of others? Or, do we support the acceptance of political pandering and the desire to have some kind of tribal loyalty, even if it is to a Lousy Leader? In this age of emotional isolation brought about by over-reliance on devices, belonging to something, anything, gives people a group identity, the “us versus them” ideology. A lousy leader will seize upon those divisions, urging members on with lies and falsehoods. These leaders are a distraction to the logical, calm, humane, and visionary leaders and followers.
  2. 2. Do you realize the amount of effort and money that goes into fixing problems of Lousy Leaders? The chaotic turmoil they create and the hurt they cause to people within the workplace and society can be insurmountable. I used the word triumph in the title because Lousy Leaders believe they are successful without any acknowledgement or acceptance of the help they received along the way, nor of the destruction they create. The Lousy Leaders believe they are the epitome of success because they have no self-understanding or regulation. The Lousy Leaders simply do not know that they are the worst leaders, because to recognize a flaw in themselves would take self-reflection, something they do not do. Let’s examine the word triumph. Triumph is an act or occasion of winning, being victorious, or overcoming something. Lousy Leaders, because they have no self-reflecting mental filter, believe they are great leaders. Lousy Leaders do not give themselves true and thoughtful feedback on the reality of the situation. The definition of a Lousy Leader could be an intimidator who accuses, does not develop followers, doesn’t listen, is not organized, presents no vision, does not build relationships, takes credit for everyone’s work, does not motivate, has no self- reflection mode, and is an impromptu and unstructured speaker. This Lousy Leader keeps subservient supporters while talented followers leave at a rapid clip. The Lousy Leaders stay, creating more havoc, moving from one irrational act to another. The Lousy Leader has little to no understanding of what it takes to lead. Actions of the Triumphant Lousy Leader: · Keep people in the dark so they do not know what to expect (mushroom) (I’ll give you my decision next Friday) · Keep people afraid to take action (don’t think for themselves) (If I do this, I will be publicly berated) · Keep people near who heap praise on them and defend them at any cost (not deserved) (No, that is not what he/she meant, he/she would not say that) Tricks of the Triumphant Lousy Leader: 1. Impromptu speaker who says what people want to hear 2. Promises action that never occurs (no follow thru) 3. Discredits the work of others, stating he/she could have done it better 4. Befriends the Rich and Famous 5. Promotes Subservient Followers #1: Impromptu Speaker
  3. 3. Triumphant Lousy Leaders speak off the top of their heads with no forethought of outcome or consequences to their statements. They do not communicate a vision with clarity, just actions without a thought of where those actions will lead. The Lousy Leader is an impromptu speaker, making global statements without details. Lousy Leaders do not have a step-by-step approach to accomplish key goals. The Lousy Leader speaks in holistic terms that lead to emotional outcomes with little specifics. As a matter of fact, these Lousy leaders thrive on emotion at a base level. Lousy leaders continue doing and saying anything that comes to mind, ignoring any ramifications they might set in motion. This impromptu communication has moments of emotional response without any clear idea on the consequential outcomes. Great leaders have always had a structured message that is clear, concise and credible. They tend to have a very measure presentation of ideas that leads to a vision that triggers both clarity and action. They are intentional about how much detail to give to support the accomplishments all have achieved. They present their points with clear possibilities so followers understand the importance of taking actions that will lead to the goals. #2: Promises of Action that Never Occur (no follow thru) Triumphant Lousy Leaders will say whatever they like at any given time because there is no standard of follow through to measure their promised vision. The lousy leader is superficial in thought and language. They seem to have an ability to connect with some people while others detest them. We see this with political leaders regardless of political affiliation. Based on the Lousy Leader’s promises, what actual rewards do the followers acquire? The ardent followers believe they have received reward because the Leader says so! The promises are made not as acts of achievable milestones, but rather as statements at the moment to receive applause and personal praise. Great leaders do not make promises: they take action. Leadership is based on communication. How can anyone lead without communication? Great Leaders are people of action and of commitment and they confidently follow through on statements made. Great leaders create the ideal of support, wanting to build organizations that will be better off than before their leadership reign and develop followers to sustain that organizational growth. #3: Discrediting others work Lousy Leaders have perfected the twenty-twenty-hind sight comment. They roundly critique the actions of past leaders, without providing substantive solutions. They don’t learn from the past: they don’t know history. Lousy Leaders are focused on the past, and complain about what others have done. They do not really target actions for the present or the future. Great leaders know that struggle before making difficult decisions is a good thing. Great Leaders know focusing on the past is a waste of time and energy unless it is for learning. Leaders focused on the present are immediate and may or may not accomplish what is intended. Leaders focused on the future can set a course of action that can be measured and followed.
  4. 4. Great leaders ask questions as to why not and draw out follower’s thoughts and feelings to collect input. They engage followers so they have involvement in decisions and feel part of the process and not excluded. #4: Pictures with Rich and Famous Have you ever walked into a Lousy Leader’s office that looks like a shrine to the rich and famous? At a glance you can see pictures with political leaders, pictures on the golf course with famous athletes. Lousy Leaders have pictures at charity events dressed in gowns and tuxes with a few other chosen Lousy Leaders. There is nothing inherently wrong with these pictures; however, the Lousy Leaders use the montage as proof that they are great leaders. Instead of supporting followers, establishing organizational vision and milestones, engaging employees and mentoring followers, Lousy Leaders create an aura of fantasy by constructing a fake image of who they are because of a few pictures with the rich and famous. “I am whom I am pictured with” is hubris at the high end of fake leadership. Great leaders know that the success of their organization depends on the employees and builds relationships with them. These leaders don’t need to rely on fake prestige. Great Leaders spend time with employees engaging them, not attending external engagements only to be seen with the rich and famous. #5: Pleasing the Lousy Leader Lousy leaders create a mystique of being special and, therefore, need to be accommodated, pleased, and catered to. They are benevolent to some and hated by others. They have a knack of building anticipation as to what they will do next. They concoct an aura of importance around themselves. They let others know all they are doing (and will be doing) and people are in awe. However, when examined, what is actually being accomplished amounts to very little. If Lousy Leaders have a gift, it is the skill to cause others to admire, and even idolize them. Lousy Leaders possess a talent for having others put an undeserved value on them. The real value is based in the perception they have created about themselves with little actual specific accomplishments. We all need to step back and ask logical and rational questions as to why we put a value on any leader. What has that leader we value done or accomplished? Sometimes, with some introspection, we may find that we are caught in Group Think frenzy. Great Leaders have a message of hope and direction. They help followers know where they are going and what they will be doing together. Great Leaders inspire a new hope of the future. Great leaders inspire people to want to work together. Great leaders are humble and caring of their followers. Great leaders are goal directed; are able to support different personalities in creating a culture of accountability; can clearly communicate a positive message, treat people fairly and respectfully, and let people know that they are valued. Summary: Lousy Leaders can bring out the worse in followers and peers. People start to walk on eggshells and there is a loss of morale. Lousy Leaders thrive on chaos and keeping people off balance. They actually want people off balance and not focused on achievable outcomes, because if their followers focused on those goals and outcomes, the leaders would not only have to recognize others for those achievements, but would also have to actually have accomplished something.
  5. 5. The workplace should be an opportunity in which people can demonstrate their gifts and talents. It should not be only a competitive place where some make more money than others and achieve personal power. Yes, there are people who have less talent who make more money. Yes, there are bad people who become Lousy Leaders and use their positions for personal power and self- gain while hurting others. But good leaders need to stay on balance and on point for themselves, explore their own talents, and achieve and fulfill themselves to become what they are capable of becoming. Leaders should stay focused on the goodness of self and others. A position is not a destination: it is only a temporary condition of employment. Leaders need to fulfill themselves through what they do and how they work. A shoeshine man in the airport motivated me to have an inspired day because of his laugh and stories that were contagious. What a talent to find fulfillment in what you do! Thank you for reading this article. Please like or share with your network. Rex Gatto Ph.D., BCC President Gatto Associates LLC. 412 344-2277 (Office) www.rexgatto.com rex@rexgatto.com

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