The Hypocritical Leader… Please Tell Me You Aren’t One

Imagine that you’re a leader who knows your stuff and you’re great at what you do. You hired a management team to manage the business. Cash flow isn’t the challenge it once was. Growth is your focus. There’s innovation everywhere. You think a thousand ideas up in a day and want them all to happen. The business has so much potential to grow. Pretty good picture hey?

Yet, here’s the reality:

  • You mistakenly think ‘more is better’
  • Leaders are too busy to attend meetings
  • Systems aren’t as strong as they need to be
  • Your frustration levels are increasing
  • You spend way too long at work, and not enough time at home
  • There is no end in sight to the mounting pile of work to be done

If you relate to that image, then you’ll probably be looking to your team wondering why on earth your leaders aren’t the God send you had hoped they would be.

And here is where hypocrisy starts to seep in. Because when you start hearing yourself say statements like these, they are the tell tale signs you’ve fallen into the trap:

  • It’s just quicker and easier if I do it myself
  • I need someone to come in and ‘fix’ them
  • Why do I have to do everything around here for anything to get done properly?
  • Perhaps I just don’t have the right people on my team

Not only will these thoughts generate low quality questions, that will in turn gain you low quality answers, they are also an indication of your real issue. When you make the problem external, (i.e. about someone else), you aren’t owning the issue yourself. And your situation is not going to change.

We attract who we are being. As such, we have the team we deserve. Think about that for a moment.

A strong leader will have the insight of knowing that if they see a behaviour in their team that frustrates them, then it’s a reflection of what’s missing in themselves. How so? Well if a leader notices that their team is displaying any of these behaviours:

  • Lack of accountability
  • Dropping into ‘doing’ instead of ‘leading’
  • Not being approachable
  • Making it about themselves instead of others

Then it is a given that it’s a reflection of their own behaviour – be it at work, at home or in their relationships in general. I guarantee you, there will be a pattern emerging across all areas of life.

So what do you need to do to change it? Follow these steps and you’ll be well on your way:

  1. Be honest and self aware of how you are displaying these same traits
  2. Take responsibility for changing them within you
  3. Paint a picture of how you would like it to be – i.e. what are the behaviours you want to see in others
  4. Make sure you are demonstrating these desired behaviours in yourself every single day

Only when you are willing to hold the mirror up to yourself and be brutally honest can you start figuring out how to turn things around.

The beauty of following this strategy is that when the realisation hits, the hypocrisy ceases. And then the real leadership work can start.

 

 

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