Th and Lies in Leadership(1)

Truth and Lies in Leadership

Truth and Lies in Leadership
    Add a header to begin generating the table of contents

    by Sara J. Baker, Ed.D.

    The truth and lies in leadership can be shockingly different from what we anticipate before we become leaders.  The lies may not be recognizable at first glance, but once you are in the fire, they become glaringly evident.

    Before you become a leader, it all seems so easy – you look at your boss and you think, “I could do that!”  You see every misstep he makes and how it affects you and the others on your team and you think to yourself, “I could do better than that!”

    Or maybe you have known from early on that you wanted to be the boss, you want to help others be productive in a positive workplace.  Or maybe you just get frustrated with what you view as incompetence and you would rather make the decisions and lead the team yourself.

    Whatever has landed you in leadership, you are here now.  And now, it seems, is a good time for some real talk about leadership.

    Not everything in leadership is as it seems.  Let’s start with the lies in leadership and then we’ll circle back to the truth.

    Leadership Lie #1: Leadership is easy.

    The Truth:  Leadership isn’t easy, but it can be unbelievably rewarding.

    Leadership is not easy.  But don’t let this one dissuade you from your path as a leader.  Many challenges will attack you as you lead a team in achieving goals.  However, the moments of deep satisfaction become more frequent as you grow as a leader.

    As your leadership style transforms into your own personal, authentic leadership approach, you become a stronger version of you and you feel the “rightness” of positive leadership.

    Fed by your passion for improving and developing, you seek out new knowledge on the leadership actions that can propel your team into greatness.

    You find ways to incorporate vision into your regular communications with your team.

    The difficult decisions become easier as you find your courage and boldly make decisions that matter.

    You spend time understanding what empowering your team looks like for you on a daily basis and then you make that vision of empowerment and engagement a reality.

    Perhaps the origins of this lie of easy leadership can be traced to the old Classical Management Theory that proposes there is one perfect way to complete a task and managers need only provide for the physical and monetary needs of employees.

    In the past when things moved slower bosses had time to gather information.  A boss could analyze potential paths and create an ideal process on his own.  Compared to leadership of today, that may indeed have seemed easier.

    As a leader today, you do not only need to provide adequate compensation and an acceptable workspace.  You also identify your team member’s strengths and coach them on how to capitalize on those strengths to excel.  Guiding your team in problem-solving, you empower and develop those around you. You show courage in the face of obstacles and challenges.

    The job is broader than it used to be, but the days that you leave work after a problem is solved, a teammate excels, or you exceed your department goals, you just smile to yourself and think “THAT’S what I’m talking about!”

     

    Truth and Lies in Leadership

    Leadership Lie #2:  Leadership is all about making more money.

    The Truth:  The extra money is nice, but it’s not enough to compensate if you don’t love leadership.

    If you become a leader solely so that you can earn a higher salary, then I encourage you to research higher-paying individual contributor jobs that are available.

    If you don’t enjoy leadership in some capacity and take pleasure in developing others, meeting challenging goals or leading teams through tough straits, then you are not doing yourself or your team members any favors by staying in leadership.

    With the challenges that come with constant change and the need for steady, positive leadership, you need to be able to pull some type of satisfaction and joy from the accomplishments of your team.  Otherwise, you are setting yourself and your team up for a miserable experience.

    Toxicity in the workplace often stems from leaders who step into leadership positions, not because they are good leaders, but solely because they want to make more money.  Don’t get me wrong, the increased salary is nice.  BUT, the pay is higher for a reason:  the job is more demanding.

    Be a leader and, by all means, cash the paycheck.  But be sure to engage in leadership actions that support your team in positively attaining goals.  Don’t bully, shame, harass or belittle your team.  Be more than a boss, be a leader.

    Leadership Lie #3:  As the leader, you’ll be able to fix everything, finally!

    The Truth:  Fix as much as you possibly can, lead a productive team and create a more enjoyable life for you and your team – it’s enough.

    Truth and Lies in Leadership

    As much as I would like to say this one is true, it isn’t.

    The reality of any leadership position carries a grey cloud of “others” who are higher up the chain and ultimately limit the scope of the decisions that you can actually make.

    “Oh, but not if I am the CEO”, you might say.  But you’d be wrong.

    In any position, there are always outside forces that limit or control the improvements you can make.  It may be your supervisor if you are a middle-level leader, or it may be a state agency that sets guidelines for what your organization must do and what your organization cannot do.

    Regardless of who the limiting factor is, you will never be the ultimate decision-maker with complete control of every decision.

    The harsh truth begs to be heard – you CAN control a great deal, make many strong decisions and you CAN absolutely make your team and your workplace a more positive place.

    But, you will never be able to make it perfect.

    There is nothing perfect, this side of heaven, but still do your very best.

    Study, learn, adapt, implement improvements, and leave your workplace, and this world, better for having experienced your leadership.

    The lies about leadership do not negate the positivity of its truths.

    Leadership is difficult, it is messy.

    It is a journey that requires all travelers to muck through the mud.

    But the smiles of satisfaction, the connections with others, the exhaustion of a job well done and a reward justly earned makes it worth it.

    Embrace the truth of leadership.

    Join the movement, become a leadership reformer today!

    Dr. Sara Baker, Founder of the Leadership Reformation

    About the Author

    Dr. Sara Baker is a thought leader in the area of positive leadership and healthy workplaces. With over 20 years of experience leading private and public organizations, she understands the challenges that employees face every day.

    Sara is the author of Toxic Workplace Survival Guide, an essential resource for anyone who wants to thrive in spite of a toxic work environment. In addition to her writing, Sara provides online courses for leadership development and coping with a toxic workplace.

    When she's not helping others learn how to lead successful lives, Sara enjoys spending time with her family and friends on her farm in Texas.

    Dr. Sara Baker, Founder of the Leadership Reformation

    About the Author

    Dr. Sara Baker is a thought leader in the area of positive leadership and healthy workplaces. With over 20 years of experience leading private and public organizations, she understands the challenges that employees face every day.

    Sara is the author of Toxic Workplace Survival Guide, an essential resource for anyone who wants to thrive in spite of a toxic work environment. In addition to her writing, Sara provides online courses for leadership development and coping with a toxic workplace.

    When she's not helping others learn how to lead successful lives, Sara enjoys spending time with her family and friends on her farm in Texas.

    Latest Release

    Dr. Baker's new book, Toxic Workplace Survival Guide, helps you stop the stress, find peace and live your best life in spite of a toxic work environment.

    Sign up to receive leadership tips straight to your inbox.

    Check out Our PACED Leadership Course

    Is Your Home Office Camera Ready?

    Is Your Home Office Camera-Ready?

    Check out these home office essentials from Amazon and make WFH even more fabulous!

    XCM_CUTTLE_1402545_2135193_US_CUTTLE_300x300_en_US

    Let's Get Moving!

    Grab some fitness essentials and get your fitness on with all those positive brain chemicals flooding through your body!

    Now, It's Your Move

    A leadership training experience that will change the way you think about leadership

    PACED Leadership Program: How to Create a Healthy, Positive Team

    Looking to create a positive and healthy workplace and take your leadership to the next level? You are in the perfect place!

    • Learn how to create an environment where people feel safe, supported, motivated, and inspired as we guide you through creating your own action plan for success.
    • Analyze your current performance and set goals for accountability, coaching, empowerment, setting purpose and vision and exhibiting courage in your leadership.

    Leaders will learn the five actions that make a difference in leadership: accountability, coaching and developing others, being courageous, empowering the team, and helping each team member understand how their work is purposeful. Wondering why leadership and workplace culture are so important? Dr. Sara Baker, founder of the Leadership Reformation with 15+ years of leadership experience, explains it all in this engaging course.

    • Leaders who take this course will learn the five essential actions that make a healthy workplace.
    • These actions will help leaders create an environment where employees feel accountable, supported, and motivated.
    • This online leadership development course is easy to access and well-suited for busy leaders.
    • Define and set goals to create a healthy team with your Personalized (and printable) Leadership Plan

    Leaders who complete the course will be better equipped to coach and develop their team members, create a more positive work environment, and understand how their work contributes to the overall purpose of the organization.

    Be the leader that you are capable of being with our leadership development program!

    Explore how you can leverage leadership styles, improve your communication, build relationships with your team, and engage and motivate your team members.
    Defeat toxicity in the workplace by becoming a force for positive leadership.
    Learn how your leadership actions can equip your team for success and reflect on the type of leader you are currently and the type you want to be.

    Included Bonuses:

    • Leadership vs Management course and 30-day plan (valued at $197) to transform the dreary tasks of management and view them through the engaging eyes of leadership!
    • New! Leadership Action Plan with in-depth guidance and discussion to help you create your personalized leadership plan based on our all-time most popular leadership plan, 5 Powerful Action Steps to Leadership (valued at $197)

    We use a variety of engaging formats, including videos, audio, and reflection guides to help you quickly (and easily) learn all the key concepts of leadership and, most importantly, how to be a good leader.

    This is leadership development on your terms: your time, your way, when and where it’s best for you.

    The PACED Leadership program includes access to:

    • Communicating as a Leader
    • How to Create a Work Environment that is Positive & Healthy
    • Leadership 101
    • How to Motivate and Engage Your Team
    • Nurturing a Positive Mindset
    • Leadership vs Management

    Join us and become part of the Leadership Reformation that is reshaping what leadership means!