Your legacy. As a millennial, I am sure that you are wondering, “what can help me become a leader in my workplace? I have a lot to offer, can’t they see that? How can I leave my legacy?” We have all gone through a stage when we were having to prove ourselves, either to our bosses, our parents or even our friends. There are many books, articles, podcasts etc. available to you to determine what makes a great leader. We often overlook what a great leader is not.
A Leader is someone who is not…
Necessarily the boss
Harsh & Judgemental
Let’s examine each of these negative characteristics so that as you grow as a leader you can avoid some of the things that your future followers will hate.
There is a misconception that the leader is the boss. For an organization to function correctly, there need to be a number of leaders. A leader is an individual of influence. A millionaire once told me that it wasn’t his job to know how to do the jobs of his hundreds of employees, his job was to give them enough rope to either swing or hang themselves. This business owner recognized that there would be leaders emerging at all levels of his organization. He equipped them properly to handle the situations that occurred. While in this situation the boss was A leader he wasn’t the ONLY leader and therefore his organization has continued to grow and flourish.
If an individual is constantly worried about what others are doing then that individual cannot concentrate on the tasks at hand. Envious people are always playing the “what if” game. “What if I had that position, then…” Envious people, they desire what others have but may not be willing to put in the effort that it takes to obtain the same level of success. This envy may even manifest itself in a petty or spiteful manner.
Along with being envious a bad leader only looks out for number one. Every decision is looked at through the “what’s in it for me” glasses. This can be done even with the disregard of the truth. Your peers will quickly realize that you are in the game only for you. The level of trust they give you will rapidly diminish.
Almost as bad as being self-serving is the leader who likes to boss everyone around because they believe that they are always right. A dictatorial leader is looked on as a tyrant, hard, cold and oppressive. While this leader will have followers, the attitude of the followers will be one of oppression and they will usually seek other leadership elsewhere. Many studies have occurred about the style of the leaders in a workplace and the job satisfaction as it relates to those leaders. When someone works for or around a dictator in the workplace their job satisfaction level tends to be lower than when that work for someone who is altruistic in nature.
Harsh & Judgmental
It goes without saying that words and actions are both effective means of communication. There is an old saying that “You get more flies with honey than with vinegar.” Harsh, judgmental and unkind words and deeds belittle your followers and make them feel insignificant. Remember the old nursery rhyme, “Sticks and stones will break my bones but words will never hurt me?” (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sticks_and_Stones) Well, it is wrong. Words have power. Edward Bulwer-Lytton in 1839 coined the phrase, “The pen is mightier than the sword.” He knew almost 200 years ago the power of words. Use them wisely.
Remember, your leadership legacy is at stake, will you influence those around you positively or negatively. It is up to you to decide.