Hold yourself responsible for a higher standard than anybody expects of you. Never excuse yourself.
Your success, and the success of your organization, will hinge largely on the performance of the teams you’re responsible for. In today’s workplace teams are no longer optional. It’s no longer a question of using a team approach or not using a team approach. The question is will your teams be winners?
Well, here we are – the final three never-fail methods to suck as a leader. In parts one and two I covered seven things you can do to really “stink it up” as a leader. (1) Make it all about you, (2) don’t worry about serving, (3) be a know-it-all, (4) do not think about or talk about the future, (5) resist change, (6) play the blame game, and (7) don’t communicate.
I once worked for someone – we’ll call him George (name changed to protect the innocent). George, despite being assigned a title that reflected leadership, was quite possibly the worst leader I’ve ever encountered. However, being someone who believes that there is something to be learned from every situation, I did glean some wisdom as a result of the experience. What could I possibly learn from perhaps the world’s worst leader you ask? I learned how to suck as a leader (should you ever want to).
Do you ever reach the end of a day and feel like you’ve accomplished nothing? It’s a depressing feeling for sure. We hit the ground that morning ready to conquer the world and then, the end of the day arrives, we look back and our To-Do list appears to have actually grown. I hate when that happens. However, over seventy-percent of the time, I can point to one thing that sabotaged my day. That one thing is also what, most often, sabotages your day. What is it?
I’ve had the opportunity to work alongside and learn from some of the best leaders in the country. I’ve witnessed those leaders move their organizations to the next level and shine in difficult situations. I’ve also seen a few not-so-good leaders; those who seemed unable to help their team conquer troubles and overcome obstacles. At different times in my leadership journey I’ve been both a good leader and a not-so-good leader. Thankfully, along the way, I’ve been able to build on my strengths and learn valuable lessons from those less than stellar moments.
On January 12, 1950, then Secretary of State Dean Acheson delivered a speech at the National Press Club. In his speech he discussed the military security of the Pacific area and the United State’s policy in regard to it. He also indicated the U.S. would maintain a defensive perimeter that included the Aleutian Islands, Japan, the Ryukyu Islands, and the Philippines. He went on to say, “So far as the military security of other areas in the Pacific is concerned, it must be clear that no person can guarantee these areas against military attack.”
“I’ve missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. Twenty-six times, I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.”
~ Michael Jordan
It’s hard to believe that these words were spoken by arguably the best basketball player who ever lived. If we search history however, we’ll quickly find a plethora of leaders who failed, in major ways, and went on to incredible successes. Rowland Hussey Macy opened four retail dry goods stores and all failed. He learned from those failures and went on to open his next store, Macy’s in New York City. It’s said Thomas Edison failed over 10,000 times before successfully creating the light bulb. He was later quoted as saying, “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.”