"If you are a boss, ask yourself: When you look back at how you've treated followers, peers, and superiors, in their eyes, will you have earned the right to be proud of yourself? Or will they believe that you ought to be ashamed of yourself and be embarrassed by how you have trampled others' dignity day after day?"
- Robert I. Sutton
For those that believe they are "great leaders" and have so much experience and "always know the answers" I have some bad news for you.
You have created a corporate culture rife with fear.
Yes you have.
Your arrogance and "coaching" are not perceived the way you've convinced yourself that they are. Your teams are not being honest with you, they are worried about losing their jobs, and the fact that you are "always right" simply adds fuel to the culture bonfire you've created.
You Can't Change
Well, maybe you can change. But I suspect it will be the most difficult thing you've ever done in your career, and here's why.
You have to actively infuse humility into who you are as a leader.
I'm not talking about dropping a bunch of leadership jargon on the team. I'm not talking about employee feedback sessions that you facilitate and get the comments that you were expecting all along.
Newsflash! They are not going to tell you their truth. They will continue to bleed quietly and "accept" your reality.
As the high value team members slip away, and you continue to behave in the exact same way year after year, it makes me wonder how much longer the tired excuses can be used to justify the same results?
How About You
What would it take for you to really change your style? Perhaps if you were threatened with your position? Maybe if you publicly fell flat on your face and your team, despite their feelings about how you treat them, rallied to support you?
What would it take for you to get over yourself?
I'd love to hear from you.
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