I was talking with someone yesterday about their boss. They were complaining about how they didn’t get support from them. Annoyed, irritated and discouraged you could visibly see the impact it had on them. I’ve experienced that many times throughout my years as a leader. I would complain to anyone that would hear me. Swearing, ranting and honestly badmouthing them. Where did it get me? Nowhere really. I can’t change someone else. And talking about them behind their back certainly didn’t have any impact that I seen.
Now I could tell you that you should go talk to them about how that made you feel. Communicate with them about your needs and what you want. And yup – you can do that. You probably should do that. But you need to do more. You need to step into leadership. Turn around. Look at those you lead. What are they saying about you? What type of leader are you?
Being a strong leader means walking the talk. If you want others to support you, respect you and be there when you need them, you better be doing it too. What happens when something goes wrong for one of your employees and they reach out to you? Are you too busy to help them? Maybe you truly are. But what would you want if you were in their shoes? Acknowledgement that they are struggling? An indication of when you might be able to help them out? A possible alternate source of immediate support?
When you complain about how others are treating you. Look in the mirror. See how it impact you and be sure you aren’t doing the same thing to those you lead. If you want to be a great leader, it takes courage to be honest with yourself too.
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