The shelves for business books are filled to overflowing with examples of successful leaders endowed with single-minded determination to pull, push and shove their organisations across the finish line to riches, fame and glory. All wonderful tales of success intended to be extremely motivational. Books bought up by wannabe leaders who try and find keys that will unlock their own ability to one day lead an organisation to such greatness.
In reality, though, too many leaders are a mixed bag of characters who are not inspiring, are far from perfect, and can be obnoxious as a result of the power their positions accord them in their respective fiefdoms.
There are those who are derailed because of personal cultural challenges, or an inflexibility to adapt due to an overbearing sense of self-righteousness and/or a grossly inflated ego.
There are those who do not adjust their sights and fail to realise that leadership is about the bigger picture, not the micromanaging that is built on a culture of fault-finding. How do you respect those who love to pick on the minutiae under the guise of being thorough, when clearly they are doing so because they can? The result —a workforce paralysed lest every action be over-analysed.
Some leaders consider it perfectly fine to welcome into the fold irrelevant friends and family, who add unnecessary layers to an organisation and elevate the throne further up the ivory tower. And from this vantage shall flow the muddled decrees and missives to the minions.
These aren’t the stories you often read about. But these are the stories that are found in abundance in the real world. In any pecking order, somebody’s head is going to feel like the tree a woodpecker has picked to peck at.
There’s no guarantee that the person chosen to helm a business is going to be a “nice bloke” and many boards would not have that attribute high on the list of desirable traits. Results are all that matter, and along the way if employees are happy, well, that’s a bonus.
STORM welcomes your thoughts on this for our upcoming issue which features the role of the leader. Email me your thoughts and suggestions on how tomorrow’s leaders can be nurtured today.