Our Leaders are not Leading

Our Leaders are not Leading

Leadership Excellence Trust

My wife just got off a phone call with her aunt who lives in a retirement home several hours from here.  When she hung up, my wife broke into tears.

Her aunt has been confined to her room for the past several weeks and has learned that the governor of her state has declared that the lock down will continue for another month.  My wife’s aunt was devastated.  She is 95 years old and the isolation is taking a toll on her.  She said she is not sure she can put up with another month of confinement.

The action by the governor of her state and other community leaders is NOT leadership.  Far from it.

Leadership is about showing compassion and taking risks.  The easy thing for these “so-called” leaders to do is shut everything down.  Then no one can blame them for COVID-19 deaths.  But what about the 90% of the population they are ignoring?  I guess these pseudo leaders believe they won’t be blamed for the suicides or the heart attacks or those who can’t get other forms of medical care.

They won’t be held responsible for the thousands of businesses that close their doors forever and the impact that will have on the millions of people who will lose their livelihood.  No, they will sit in their ivory tower and continue to take the easy way out.

Fortunately, there are some real leaders who use their brains and show leadership.  They implement measures to address all of the issues.  They are sticking their own necks out and allowing businesses to open.  They permit people to leave their homes and enjoy fresh air.  These real leaders have set up task forces to develop innovative solutions to help people return to as much of a normal existence as possible.  That is what leaders do.  They listen to people they are leading and engage in conversations that result in workable solutions.  They don’t take the easy way out and just shut everything down.

Real leaders are compassionate, courageous and caring.

I suppose one good think that will come out of this crisis is that it will reveal how weak and perhaps corrupt many of the elected officials are.  The next time there is an election, will the people vote the pseudo leaders out of office?  They might elect someone who cares for the people entrusted to them.

Are you a leader?

Are you a leader?

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As I have interviewed leaders in different professions, I have been surprised by how many of them do not think of themselves as leaders.

This happens because the majority of people do not understand leadership.  They have grown up believing there is only one type of leader. 

We see it in movies and we see it in politics.  Movies portray leaders as egocentric or gregarious individuals that are willing to risk their lives to save the world.  Politicians are bold and outspoken.  They are back slappers and love to debate.

Take time to read a few leadership books or study the personalities of a larger group, you will find that leaders come in a variety of personalities.  The book “Good to Great” identifies humility as the most common trait among the leaders of the worlds most successful companies.

The fact of the matter is that different situations require different leadership styles.  An organization in crisis requires a different kind of leader than one that is growing rapidly.  The leader of a country at war needs to be different than the leader of a country expanding their economy in times of peace.

The book “The 8 Dimensions of Leadership” describes 8 different leadership styles and the strengths of each.

If you do not know your leadership style, there is a free and very enlightening assessment available that can help you get a handle on your strengths as a leader.  There are a multitude of books available and reasonably priced leadership profiles that help you understand the skills you need to polish to take your skills to the next level.

Get started on your journey to leadership:

  1. Take a FREE leadership assessment by sending an email to info@truleadership.com with the word “Leadership” in the subject line.
  2. Read about Leadership Success:  “A Garage Full of Ferraris
  3. Discover your strengths, weaknesses and obtain a plan to close the gap by taking the “Work of Leaders” profile.  Contact me at kjohnston@truleadership.com