As quickly as we can rise through the company ranks, a fall can occur just as suddenly, with a solid impact. The grind can be too much, and we lose the desire, passion, motivation and most of all, patience. We become frustrated with the system and are overcome with a sense of entitlement that is not being matched by the company we work for.
We either throw in the towel and quit, or we simply burnout and fade away. As a result, the net loss results in what ultimately can destroy a leader.
The demise is evident through the following actions:
LOSING FOCUS AND VISION
We become lazy in our thought process and stop thinking analytically and critically in each challenge presented to us. Not only are we unable to adequately communicate the big picture, there is a lack of confidence in how the execution will occur. As a result, the plan of action becomes very sloppy and unorganized.
DELEGATING WITHOUT COACHING
We were hired as a result of our ability to teach others from the experience we’ve gained along the way. Once confident in our team, we delegate through coaching them through the process. Now, we simply delegate without direction or follow up, putting those we lead in a position to fail.
With the loss of vision comes a loss of patience. The result will be shortcuts at the expense of the company and its core values. What has taken years to build can easily be destroyed by the poor decisions of one individual.
MAKING EMOTIONAL DECISIONS
No longer thinking through critical situations, decisions are being made based on emotional feelings as opposed to facts, cross-functional discussions and input from the team. The traits of experience and skill sets are not utilized any longer; only snap judgement remains.
QUIT EMPOWERING OTHERS
One of the most critical elements of being an effective leader fades away as a result of feeling unappreciated for your contributions to the success of the company. However, you are not just failing yourself at this point, but those who have entrusted you with their future.
The excuses and blame begin to become a common theme under your leadership. Instead of protecting your team and earning trust and respect, you now begin the regrettable action of blaming your team for functions that you are ultimately responsible for.
You no longer see the positive in anything you do, or set the example in your actions. Your appreciation for the process, journey and team effort has been replaced with selfishness and anger. Your rhetoric turns from “we” to “I”.
A leader’s greatest strength is to adapt. Change is inevitable and if you are not prepared, you put the entire company and your staff at risk. Your vulnerabilities will be exposed, your ability to be PROactive will turn into being REactive and the overall plan of action will be at risk.
Hopefully you have already earned the respect of senior leadership, as well as your team, and they have made you aware of the “new you”. Don’t make any drastic moves yet — you still have time to salvage the situation.
Swallow your ego, put your boots back on and redirect your frustration. Put that energy into the three P’s to get past through this: passion, persistence and patience. You have worked this hard and made it this far, don’t give up.
Go back and evaluate why you began this adventure in the first place and rediscover your passion. If you made it this far, it was because you were persistent. Keep up the good fight and get back on that horse. Most important, be patient. Good things come to those who wait. Success will happen, don’t let your perception of time cloud proper protocol.
We all have bad days, but as long as the good outweigh the bad, you’re still in a position to succeed. Too often, people quit before success is about to occur, and then they will live with regret. In the words of Winston Churchill, “keep bugging on!”
Leadership is a privilege.
Go do great things today and make a difference.