Avoiding This 1 Thing Makes You Suck As A Leader

Posted by on Jun 23, 2016 | 0 comments

June 23_1thingthatmakes you suck as a leader_ Careers in Motion - Blog Titles (1)

A friend of mine holds a GM position for Microsoft. He often makes comments about the great team and work environment created at Microsoft…but, he shared, it wasn’t always this way. Of course, being the workplace culture geek I am, I wanted to know more. He generously shared his thoughts on the subject.

When he first became the general manager, he knew the people in this area of the company were in need of something. At his first meeting with the entire department he did something different. As in most organizations, someone creates a PowerPoint and the GM skillfully delivers the message as if he/she wrote it. I was once one of those people that created the PowerPoint and content, by the way. This situation at Microsoft was no different. The PowerPoint was created, I am sure with astounding content, but instead of following along and trying to engage his audience with what was written for him, he shut off the slides. Grabbed the mic and stood in front of his people like he was in front of a firing squad and simply said, “let’s talk”.

What I found most interesting about this action is my friend’s level of self- awareness. He knew that following PowerPoints and a prepared script did not fit with who he really was and what this area of the company needed. He had the awareness of himself to just ‘be him’. He knew the group needed him to connect; to be human. Being ‘aware’ of one’s self is the ability to accurately perceive one’s skills and knowledge, value and responsibilities. It is being confident in what you have to offer. And you don’t need to be in a leadership position to demonstrate leadership qualities, by the way.

Many of us struggle with self-awareness. We would rather not know our strengths because then we would also have to see the warts. We just avoid looking in the mirror for fear of what we might see. Self-awareness is not only important for one’s self-esteem, but it is also the first step to the process of full acceptance or change. Without understanding why we think the way we think or why we act the way we act, we may never fully appreciate ourselves or see the importance of making changes to improve, if necessary. If we don’t improve, we remain in the status quo living a ho-hum life, and who wants that?

The lack of self-awareness can cause you to not realize your worth in the company or even the quality of the work you perform.

You will not demonstrate your value and will likely get passed over on projects or promotions because others will sense your feelings of low self-worth. This can have an even more dramatic effect when you hold a leadership position. Not only will you have doubts about yourself, but the people you lead will also begin to question your competence, which could ultimately lead to a lack of leadership effectiveness.

Getting to know you inside and out is a continuous journey of peeling back years of conditioning. Just when you think you have yourself figured out, you uncover another layer. It takes courage and honesty to accept yourself as you are.

Here’s a quick exercise. Write down who and what pushes your buttons and try to understand why. What is the deep seeded reason why something bothers you? If you’re honest, the answer may surprise you.

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