Leaders like to believe their success is a consequence of their fantastic work ethic, flawless execution, and drive. And that's often true! Unfortunately, individual success does not always translate to success at directing others. Quite the contrary, some leaders actually diminish the abilities and drive of those around them, absorbing energy rather than creating it. Liz Wiseman, author and leadership expert, calls these individuals "Diminishers."
Many leaders do and are completely oblivious to their effect on others. It is hard to come to terms with the possibility that their style may actually harm their people instead of helping them, but is essential to company survival and growth. Here are five signs might indicate that you are a diminisher:
1. You are an Empire Builder?
You pride yourself on recruiting the best talent out there. You know how to spot them, approach them, and recruit them into your organization. Once there, though, these people come to feel more like a trophy on a shelf than an active contributor. These leaders don't give their people enough space, liberty, and time to elicit the best performance. Under these circumstances, top performers feel stifled and untapped.
2. You are a Tyrant?
You often find people hesitant to come to you with problems. Workers often seem tired, irritated, or tense. You know that your emotions run high, and that you raise your voice or reprimand others often. You tell yourself (and others) that this is totally justified, as people give you constant cause for irritation. Unfortunately, this behavior creates stress in the work environment that actually makes people more likely to make the mistakes you hate. Under these conditions, your workers' capabilities are diminished and reduced.
3. You are a Know-it-all?
You are proud of your accomplishments, and have much experience to offer, without doubt. But are your experience and knowledge makes you doubt others' competence? Do you find yourself giving directives because you think you are the only one who really undersands the situation? If so, you may be a know-it-all.
4. You are the Decision Maker?
When a great idea strikes, you get very excited and feel it must be implemented immediately. In your haste, you end up making key decisions all by yourself, or with input from only a small group within the organization. While the idea may be great, acting alone and in haste creates confusion within your company, as no one else was privy to the process.
5. You are a Micro-Manager?
You pride yourself on personal connection with employees. You try to spend one-on-one time with as many people as you can each day. In each conversation, you spend plenty of time giving advice and direction. Your counsel is probably quite good, but what's missing is listening and support. Employees end up with a lot of direction on how they should handle their projects, but little autonomy to experiment and learn.