When I was active duty Air Force, our organization had an E-9 (for you AF peeps, get over it, he was not a Chief). He would stand in front of the monthly all-hands meeting and put his hands on his hips like Superman. He would then tell the organization and all the leaders everything we did wrong. There was not a positive message….EVER! He was followed because he had the position. Despite his poor leadership the core mid-level leaders put the organization on their back and carried the organization to success. His team suffered because of his ego clouded his judgement. He felt we all needed to bow down because he was the tribal elder. News flash: as Zachary Davis stated, people leave their jobs either because the leader or they feel their work is not valued. There are no bad teams only bad leaders. We had more retirements during his tenure…coincidence?
Blame game: A leader’s ego will drive them to blame the team. The leader will blame the sales team for not meeting the quarterly quotas. The coach will blame the players the team captain will blame the coach. Nobody wins. The leader owns their space, the leader owns their department, and the leader owns the successes and failures of the team. When the leader gets in the blame game instead of owning the stumbles, the leader loses…the team loses. It is the leader’s responsibility to assess the situation and figure out a way (with the help of the team) to give the team the tools, coaching, and actionable guidance to overcome the challenges. The team and the leader will grow in the process.
Leaders put the team first and hold themselves accountable first. The sum is greater than its parts. Every leader will be faced with the situation when his or her team fails. At this critical point, the leader will decide to blame others or stand up and take ownership of the stumble. If the leader takes the responsibility, the team will rally around the leader. The team will grow stronger and have more respect for the leader. Respect equals success. Ownership equals success. Drop the ego!
Leadership is an active sport, get in the game!
1 thought on “Ego Clouds Judgement”
Good article and great example. We often come across leaders who love to give direction but often take no responsibility. Although I hate saying this, I learned some valuable lessons for those leaders. More how not’s than great examples. Again, very good article.