Monday, July 22, 2019

Are you a lazy leader?

What does it mean to be a lazy leader? How can you avoid that trap?

First of all, I consider all people to be leaders of places great to small for large groups of people to small groups of people. Moms are leaders, dads are leaders, teachers are leaders, neighbors are leaders, and of course, our administrators, bosses, managers, service providers and elected officials are leaders. We are all leaders in some capacity, and we all run the risk of becoming lazy leaders if we don't do the good work of worthy,  positive leadership.

If you're a lazy leader, what do you do?

Lazy leaders blame, shame, name call and disrespect rather than doing the good work of leadership.
Lazy leaders point a finger at the problem, but don't work well to solve problems. They use ridicule, disrespect, and name calling to blame others for the problems that think. Using either-or think, these lazy leaders simply point to the "bad guys" and blame them for the problems that exist.

Lazy leader rely on easy-to-get knowledge rather than do the hard work of reading, research, and working with the best and brightest experts related to specific issues.
Lazy leaders think they know it all. They're satisfied with quick searches or hearsay rather than doing the hard work of investigating issues with an eye on positive win-win solutions.

Lazy leaders don't reach out to fill their organizations with best & brightest, instead they rely on cronyism and nepotism.
Lazy leaders simply hire those they know and favor rather than people who are true experts related to the problems and opportunity that exist.

Lazy leaders don't respect research, knowledge, or education.
Because lazy leaders think they have superior intelligence they put no value into continued learning, critique, civil debate/discourse, compromise, or shared decision making. For lazy leaders, it's typically "their way or the highway" which means they are satisfied with narrow minded, single focus decision making.

Lazy leaders never own their error, but instead blame others.
Lazy leaders never let on that they don't know what they are doing as that would take too much time. Instead they hold themselves up as the brightest and best covering up any error by blaming that error on others.

Lazy leaders are dangerous leaders
Lazy leaders slothful, lethargic, me-first ways create a dangerous path for the organizations, groups, and communities they serve. Similar to any uncared for individual, structure, or event, lazy leaders' poor leadership weakens the foundations of communities, organizations, and groups because they don't keep up with the times, attend to the essential elements, protect, or develop. When weakness occurs, lazy leaders just leave the structure or organization to rot and move on to topple another place, person, or event. Lazy leaders self interest and unwillingness to work hard puts all in their midst at risk.

Everyone has the potential to be a lazy leader. Thankfully when we surround ourselves by good people and good organizations, we help one another to avoid laziness in favor of diligent, positive effort. To further avoid laziness, we can do the following:

  • have an open mind to new ideas, new people, new processes
  • read, research, listen, learn daily
  • be humble and honest--own your errors and work to better who you are and what you do
  • work with empathy, compassion, and care
  • go hard on the problem, not the people
  • acknowledge that no one has the monopoly on truth, knowledge, and good work, and typically it is what we do together that is best
  • use ambition to boost mission, do not work for your own ambition alone
There is too much at stake in our families, communities, and organization, to be lazy or choose lazy leaders. Look for and be hard working, positive, collaborative, respectful, creative, and curious leaders--the kind of leaders that history will look to as examples of what we can be and do to positively move lives forward. #wecandothis.