No matter the organization, you have likely experienced the caustic leader who delivers exceptional results yet how they go about getting those results leaves much to be desired. Often this leader needs to be in complete control, believes they are smarter than everyone else, and tells their team what to do rather than develop, coach and trust their employees.
Unfortunately, people don’t want to be around this person, don’t think the leader is very smart at all, and become disengaged and demotivated by the caustic environment. Results are achieved through control and fear rather than a collaborative environment. Over time, this behavior can lead to high turnover and may even create potential legal liability for your company.
Sound familiar? Yet, at work, this is only one example of the perceptual limitations that can ultimately get in the way of leadership success. People with perceptual limitations that inhibit long term success, choose a value, such as being perceived as smart, over being truly successful. While they may still be valuable to the organization, they could enhance their value further by reframing these perceptions.
Consider people in your organization and whether anyone comes to mind who displays any of the additional perceptual limitation examples covered below. A question you might ask yourself to identify someone with a particular type of perceptual limitation is:
“Would they rather ______________ or be successful?”
Look good. While getting results is a great way to look good, some will shift blame, take credit, and do whatever is necessary to look good, even at the expense of results.
Be right. Often this shows up as an “I told you so” mindset. You might also notice it when a leader wants to win no matter what – even if that win damages relationships and the team.
Get credit. When managers are more worried about getting the credit for the great idea or for driving a project to completion, they may not get the results they desire. Sharing the credit with others builds collaboration and relationships.
Be liked. New managers often struggle with this perceptual limitation, especially if the people now on their team used to be their co-workers. In fear of losing their friends, they would rather be popular than make the tough decisions and gain the respect of their team.
Have harmony. Conflict avoidance is common. Yet productive conflict breeds better decisions and innovative ideas through open discussion and the exploration of varying views.
Be perfect. Perfectionism can lead to analysis paralysis. Waiting for perfect data, perfect products, and perfect ideas allows others in the marketplace to get the upper hand. It’s okay to go with less than perfect, see what happens, and continue to improve over time.
Avoid being involved. When things go wrong, do you retreat and leave others to handle the issue? Success comes from diving in and being part of the solution.
These are just a few of the perceptual limitations that can sabotage leadership success. Did you recognize others, or even yourself, in any of these? If so, the good news is that these limiting ways of thinking can be re-framed and new behaviors developed to create sustainable results.
Dutra Associates, LLC has a proven methodology that leads to more effective behaviors, collaboration, and impact on the team and the organization as a whole. If you’d like to learn more, I invite you to reach out at Sherry@DutraAssociates.com. Why tolerate ineffective behaviors in your organization when you don’t have to?
Adapted with permission by Center for Executive Coaching
About the Author: Sherry Dutra is a Talent Development, Career and Retirement Coach and Facilitator who works with corporate leaders in small to mid-size businesses, across the span of their careers. She helps them to accelerate business outcomes and team performance, navigate their own career path, and transition to retirement with ease using proven methodologies and strategies that get results. If you would like to uncover and address hidden challenges that may be sabotaging your success, leverage your strengths, and accelerate your progress toward the results you desire, contact Sherry for a complimentary consultation.