Failing students, unsuccessful organizations, horribly run countries, intolerable kids… wonder where those stem from? Oh yeah! The people who lead them. You know? Those scary, scary people you call teachers, managers, country leaders, police officers and parents. It doesn’t even stop there, I’m sure there’s a lot more of these “scary people”.
After encountering, experiencing and witnessing many of these individuals, I always wonder why they were called the boss. The “do as I say or else” people. The “do it because I said so people”. The “I know more than you” people. The “I’m higher than you” people. The.. now shall I keep going?
Haha, I’m joking. The world needs “bosses” (I prefer the word “leaders”), because great ones do truly make a difference in schools, organizations, countries, and homes. But, you know what? I don’t view these individuals as any more or less than me. Neither should you. Yes, titles are used to categorize people to make it easier for us to classify who they are, but I find it quite silly to fear them. Why? They are within the exact same species as you. They share many of the same humanistic characteristics as you. They may have a different role than you, but that is about it.
In reality, these individuals can’t succeed nor claim this golden globe title without the consent and collective agreement of the group of individuals/individual they are held accountable for.
Now what I am going to write about are those people in the second paragraph and conclude it with people we need more of. I am sure all of you are reading this already with faces in mind. Keep them there.
Here it is: 3 Reasons Why you will Fail in a Leadership Position
1. You see yourself as a higher being.
Automatically, RIGHT there in my eyes, you failed. If you see yourself higher than those you are leading, there is a very high chance many people will not give you that golden globe title you seek. In my opinion, great leaders are those who will see themselves as equals to who they are accountable for. You know, those parents that will own up to their mistakes when they correct your mistakes, those managers/leaders that are willing to jump in on the chaos when really needed, those country leaders that just don’t sit in their royal chair and talk, but actually visit their citizens? Yeah, I’m sure you know a few.
Don’t get me wrong, if I know and everyone else knows that you know 100% what you are doing, that’s not an issue. I would please ask for you to tell me what to do. Realistically though, who 100% knows what they’re doing with absolutely no growing room? Not any human I know. Just because you hold such a title, it gives no one any right to belittle anyone nor assume that you are more capable than another person. If anything, you should be trying to learn and grow as much as you can from the people you lead, otherwise, how will you know how to lead without knowing what people want?
2. You have zero emotional intelligence.
Okay, I know I’ll get a lot of backlash for this one, but I’m still arguing it. In my recent positions in a leadership position, one of my main struggles/successes as a leader was this so called statement as “being too nice“, “being too involved with feelings”. Don’t get me wrong, I’ll take the criticism. Now, I’ve learned that yes, there is a middle ground. There is a middle ground between being a pushover and being able to optimize your students’, child’s, employees’ performance by being aware of their emotions. Whether you are a parent, a leader in an organization, or a teacher, I believe that you need some emotional intelligence. Why? Because humans feel. WOAH? What? Humans feel? Omgsh I never knew that. Don’t laugh, I’m sure some people are quite shocked right now.
I’ve always thought when I was younger, to be a great leader you had to be a flat out asshole for people to listen to you. So, let me ask you. Do you listen to assholes?
3. You don’t allow questions. There is no if ands or buts.
I am going to end my arguments with one I feel very strongly about. Why is that these individuals feel like no one’s opinions are valid expect for theirs? Technically, there really isn’t any right or wrong. How are you to tell someone is right or wrong for having an opinion?
I’m serious. I am genuinely confused.
This mentality of leaders always being right needs to stop. Everyone is human. Human makes mistakes. Therefore, one thing that took me a lot of time myself to do, but that is:
Learn to question.
One thing that separates humans from animals is our ability to question. So, exercise it! If something does not feel right to you, question. Now I’m not telling you to harass your math teacher by asking them why “1+1=2”, not because your question is not valid, because it is, but you know, I’m sure your fellow students around you will not appreciate it. As a leader, you should LOVE questions. You should love it when your child, your employee, your citizen asks you why? If no one asked why we did things the way we did, our world would not be where it is today. Just think about that.
I have had amazing people I looked/look up to and people who I would question how they were in the position that they were in. To be quite honest, in my eyes, being a true leader in many contexts is probably one of the hardest things to do out there. Harder than coding, harder than getting your Phd, harder than a lot of things you deem hard. Because why? Because your responsibility is to lead humans – humans who have varied personalities, varied goals, varied opinions, varied abilities, varied morals and values, varied cultures, varied experiences and you have to somehow successfully marry all of those together and create unity. I’m not even factoring in your other responsibilities that you have. Do you think you’re a great leader now? I sure feel like I have a lot of work to do.
I am in no way encouraging people to start asking why why why to everything and disrespect individuals in this position, but I want to change this mentality of fearing those in a leadership title.
Fear will create madness, respect will create greatness.
Respect is something that is earned. No specific formula, no cheat sheat. Respect will come from you recognizing you are a human leading a human.