How To Recognize the 3 Leadership Shortcuts You Should Avoid

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When leaders hit a slump, effective leaders will fight their way through, when others are simply looking for a shortcut.

Slumps can hit any leader, at any time. 

– The wins just aren’t happening,

– The plan just isn’t coming together,

– The team just isn’t responding,

When that happens there can be a great temptation to avoid the sometimes hard, grueling, long road that leadership often requires. It’s in these seasons of struggle that the lure to take a sneaky leadership shortcut can be almost irresistible.

But should you give in to a leadership shortcut the cost can be great:

– Loss of credibility,

– Confusion on the team,

– Slowing of momentum.

So, what are those leadership shortcuts? Here are three of the most common, and deadly temptations you could face…

1.  Creating policies

Moving people or organizations forward requires the hard work of leadership. It requires vision casting, team building, and difficult conversations.

But instead of doing this hard work, some leaders will opt instead to simply churn out a few policies.

Policies might have their place. Just don’t confuse them with leadership.

2.  Losing your cool

When a leader loses their cool, it’s like a child throwing a temper tantrum. Both are frustrated that they’re not getting their way. And so they pitch a fit.

If people give in to this, it can create the illusion that there has been a leadership accomplishment. But ‘powering up’ isn’t the same as leadership. It’s more like bullying.

And it’s just another shortcut.

3.  Creating a new org chart

…or reorganizing anything.

A leader paralyzed with indecision will sometimes whip out a piece of paper or run to a white board and start drawing boxes, circles and lines with abandon.

In time a brand new exciting organization chart can emerge, and the resulting change in reporting structures can provide yet another illusion that real leadership has taken place.

But, once again, it hasn’t. It’s just another shortcut.

Face it. Sometimes leadership is just hard. Moving a group of people forward requires tremendous effort and tenacity.

And in the midst of it all it can be very tempting to simply take one of these shortcuts.

But resist these easy ‘outs’. Stick to the hard work of leadership.

The results will be worth it.

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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