LEAD DIFFERENT. BETTER RESULTS
In our last thought piece, we talked about the Avoid and Control Trap. In a nutshell, it means people over-lead, under-lead or both! And neither one achieves the results you need. 50 years of research shows ‘avoid and control’ continues to be the dominate leadership pattern. Every time I meet with an organization they recognize this pattern and wonder if something different is really possible.
It is possible, but it’s hard. It’s a choice. Leaders must choose to step up and engage. Anything less isn’t leadership. Here’s a snapshot from our Engage Research on leaders who make the choice.
Engaged Leaders recognize their own internal pull to avoid and control, and they rise above it. They have a mindset of personal responsibility. A strong sense that they matter only when they act. If they don’t, they are complicit in the status quo. They know that skill matters far more than courage. They know leadership is an action, not a position. They challenge the status quo. They push for change. They tackle the real issues. They value collaboration and don’t get sucked into heroic leadership—thinking they have all the answers.
ENGAGE. RESULTS THAT MATTER
Every company recognizes the relationship between leadership and results. Better leadership, more of the results they need. Imagine a new norm, leaders that—
- Sit down with their people and talk about their performance challenges and opportunities. Explore what needs to change, while supporting and holding them accountable for raising their game. This doesn’t happen by avoiding the hard stuff or simply telling them what to do.
- Engage others in real dialogue about the tough issues. The issues that teams find all kinds of ways to avoid. The issues that when dealt with, lead to breakthrough results. Avoid and control doesn’t engage people, get them thinking or put their creativity to work.
- Collaborate across boundaries to make sure the best ideas win. They embrace others who see things differently and recognize that differences drive better results. They know that the best ideas don’t win by controlling people, pushing their personal agenda or avoiding conflict.
These are the leaders every company wants and needs, yet precious few do what it takes to get build them. We continue to see companies struggle with leaders that avoid and control, train them in the same old ways, and remain frustrated with the results.
Stay tuned for our next piece. Why leadership training hasn’t delivered big results and how Engage is different…