Why is it that many times a leader starts out providing excellent leadership and then over time, people begin to wonder what happens? Well, I have a lot of thoughts for that, but we can save that for another blog topic.
Unfortunately, it happens. I believe a leadership decline happens when leaders start thinking about themselves more than others. The focus of arrogance instead of serving corrupts not only the leader but others as well to the point that no one has any pleasure in being associated with the leadership provided.
Leaders who begin to decline harden their hearts toward others who oppose or challenge the norm. They become cold in their relationships and provide a horrible example to follow. Being “right” about something is different than “having” to be right.
So… how do we avoid being a leader who flirts with the slippery slope of decline?
Treat your leadership seriously
Nothing taints good leadership quicker than letting the poison of weak leadership continue to manifest itself. Many leaders make the joke, “fake it until you make it.” I do not want to lead or ever be led by a leader with this mentality towards leadership. My belief in what leadership is and should be is much more serious than “faking it.” Leadership is serious; it affects the lives of others.
Maintain sound leadership
What is sound leadership? Sound leadership is doing what is right by and for others for the greater good of the organization. Sound leadership is the process of building up, not tearing down. Leaders should never compromise the true meaning of why to lead.
Walk closely to other good leaders
Now this point could make you think a while. How do you know if you are walking with a good leader? I would say, deep down, you know. A good question to ask, “Are they for others or themselves?” Look at the decisions a leader makes when the spotlight is not on them. This will tell a lot.
Be open to having a growth mindset.
Yes, you can still hold true to your values. Yes, you can still stand-firm on issues that are blatantly right from wrong. But not being open to suggestions is different. There is a great danger in leaders who stop hearing the voice of others because they only want to listen to what they say themselves.
As leaders, we stand in a position of influence, and you must hold yourself accountable in order not to let your leadership decline. If your leadership declines, you run the risk of alienating yourself to the point that no one will care what your leadership is or stands for because they have lost all respect for you, the leader.
Remember… Think Leadership and Be For Others
©2019 J Clay Norton
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