Are You Falling Prey to the Dark Side of Leadership?

Side of Leadership - Upside Thinking

“To do, or not to do,” this is often the question.

Wait, isn’t it supposed to be, “To be, or not to be?”

Sigh.

I am someone who likes to get stuff done.

My husband’s cousin calls me the “over-achiever”.

And, I’ve always taken great pride in my ability to take on more than most people and have it all work out well.

My friends and family recognize they can count on me – that I will be responsible enough to do whatever they need and deliver it with excellence.

The same is true of my clients.

And, this feels good when I’m operating out of healthy choice and with clear boundaries.

Unfortunately, this hasn’t always been the case.

Years ago, I would work hard and assume the responsibilities of others who are capable of doing it themselves because I didn’t trust them.

Then, I would become resentful or angry, especially when I didn’t get the kudos I thought I deserved for all of my hard work.

Today, I refer to this as leadership self-sabotage – when a leader enters into a co-dependent relationship with followers, taking on more than he/she needs to, and creating a victim/victor cycle.

This behavior can be found in boardrooms around the world – as well as in small family businesses– and even in families.

It is the dark side of leadership, and not often spoken about other than when someone uses it in extreme terms like “control freak.”

What’s important to recognize is the focus from doing to being.

When you focus solely on your doingness with the expectation of being the hero and getting it right, you can lose touch with your beingness which is where the core of your leadership essence lives.

This doesn’t mean that being effective and getting the right things done doesn’t matter.

Quite the opposite.

It simply means that when you do it at the expense of who you are, you create an unhealthy pattern that sabotages great leadership.

The best leaders hire people they can trust to create productive teams and remember to trust them. If not, why hire them?

And those same leaders started out being people who needed a confident leader to believe in them and trust them to do excellent work.

Are you remembering the value of your team?

Leaders worth following understand that who they are being and how they are being is often more important that what they say — and certainly more effective than doing it all.

Action Side of Leadership - Lisa Marie Platske

The Upside Challenge of the week is to notice your motivation when you are drilling away at your to-do list at work or at home. Is it rooted in pleasing others? Being the hero? Take a breath. Can you delegate some of this work? Or do it from a different place within yourself – one of choice and clear boundaries?

People follow the person first, then their great plan.

Be a leader worth following.

The world needs you and your brilliance.

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