The Character Crisis that can Chase People Away

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Have you ever found yourself being led by someone whose leadership you just couldn’t stand? Ever been around someone leading the charge who just completely rubbed you the wrong way?

What were the characteristics you found so difficult to work with?

During a leadership coaching session Global Leadership Summit founder Bill Hybels addressed this question. And leaders would do well to heed these key insights.

Bill stated emphatically that there are two qualities that people just can’t stand in their leaders. 

1. “People can’t stand dishonesty in their leader.”

2. “People can’t stand arrogance in their leader.”

In my own experience, I have found that these dangerous qualities often begin with seemingly innocent patterns:

Dishonesty often starts with:

  • Chronic lateness
    • “I’ll meet you tomorrow at 9:00 am.” Then you show up at 9:10.
    • Some leaders will dismiss their chronic tardiness as a reflection merely of their demanding schedule. But it ultimately communicates dishonesty.
  • Consistent lack of follow-through
    • “I’ll call you next week.” And no call is made.
    • When you consistently fail to follow through on even the smallest of commitments people come to doubt any commitment you make.

Arrogance often starts with:

  • The White-Knight complex
    • Implicitly, or explicitly, some leaders make it sound like they had ridden in on a stallion and had single-handedly rescued the organization from certain doom.
    • People withdraw their support from such leaders.

Consider using this checklist to form your own character audit.

Because if you can catch these indicators when they’re relatively small, you can avoid a full-blown leadership character crisis later on.

the author

Scott Cochrane

Vice President- International, Global Leadership Network. Love Jesus, Nora, Adam & Robin, Amy, Dave, Willow & Olive and John, Fiona & Will. Lifelong learner.

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