The column "Leadership Whiteboard" provides a short visual leadership coaching moment. It introduces and explains a new sketch in each issue, provides leadership coaching for further development, and shares a leadership quote and recommended book.
The "Dark Side" of Leadership, Part 2
The same ability that makes one a great leader can negatively impede his or her capacity: for example when a leader possesses excellent directing skills but ventures into micro managing. Development of any dark side tendencies reveals destructive behavior that compensates for lack of confidence or success. In this issue, I consider leaders who disempower others and inauthentic leaders.
Leaders Who Disempower. The tendency to disempower others can occur intentionally or subconsciously. Disempowering leaders may leave disagreeable people out of the discussion. Other forms of disempowerment show the leader stepping in a last minute move taking the power from the one who was working on the solution. Secretively disempowering certainly reveals greater problems.
Leaders usually know when they secretly sideline someone, but how can a leader recognize when he or she is doing it unconsciously? Ask yourself if you avoid or begrudge getting someone’s input, continuously leave people out of the loop, or you need to be the one who gets credit.
Disempowerment isolates people or self, blames others quickly, devalues others, and declares direction without genuine collaboration. Leaders may also disguise disempowerment when frequently saying, “The Holy Spirit led me to” or “God told me to do this.”
Inauthentic Leaders. Authenticity cannot be ignored in today’s generational leadership expectations. Authenticity, transparency, or vulnerability—each term can be used to some interchangeable degree.
Disingenuous leadership cannot show or admit weakness. Followers know leaders’ weaknesses and compensate for them quietly or just live with it. A leader gains more respect when he or she acknowledges a weakness and then determines how to deal with it.
Vocational limitations could be in accounting or writing, but the weakness might be a personal struggle or sin. Everyone struggles, but real leaders acknowledge them and bring people with complimentary strengths to the table. While you do not need to get into the details of the personal struggles, acknowledging your humanness and how you fight to get stronger will model humble leadership for your followers and build valuable trust. Your followers know you are not perfect; they just wonder if you know that.
About the Columnist: Ron Hunter Jr. has served as the director of Randall House Publications for 14 years, and has led the organization into family ministry initiatives for the past 12 years.