Leadership

Four signs of a leader that has lost connection with the environment and how to deal with them

The fast-paced world we live in, aren’t we?

People have significantly changed in the new reality based on an extensive stay-at-home culture. Social interactions have changed dramatically. Now people see others as less important to deal with and focus more on what it can be for them. Leaders have become more “flexible” in finding excuses for why things do not happen instead of why things happen.

The new culture raised new leadership behavior – leaders focused more on their internal beliefs, not compromising openly or indirectly with others’ beliefs and understandings. As a result, the search for how to help employees with their needs and act to support them has become indifferent and not focused on helping people.

The most precious resource – time – is now unfairly distributed toward people, and leaders steal from it daily in that new environment. In many cases, these same leaders do not even understand the “crime” they are conducting. And with behavior focused on themselves and masked with words that present it as helping the business, these same leaders create an environment of uncertainty and constant movement of employees pushed by the will to find a better environment.

There are several signs that you are dealing with a leader who has lost connection with the environment and is acting only aligned with his own beliefs and needs. Seeing and understanding them is a helpful way for everyone to better manage that relationship without stressing too much and burning out quickly.

Sign 1:

The leader prolongs meetings too much

I do not say that today when we have lost almost 50% of our social interaction, we need to skip shorter meetings, but we need to have them with understanding and respect for others. Unfortunately, we often see that no matter the level in the hierarchy, the meetings are often way longer than planned. That is nothing new, but at the same so annoying. The leader who prolongs meetings is not doing any good to the team. No matter what this leader thinks he is doing, the effect is more negative than positive.

How to deal with them: Ask for a clear and precise meeting schedule and propose a timekeeper who can bring the meeting back on track. Formally set roles like the timekeeper are not to be confronted by the leader because this can cause anyone t form a negative impression of the leader.

Sign 2:

The leader delays making decisions but try to compensate with the execution from your side

This a sign that you are dealing with someone living in their reality but not investing time and effort to understand others. That type of leader may look arrogant, but they do not know how they behave in most cases. And this is often caused by the fear of the employee or employees sharing what the leader’s behavior is causing. This situation looks like one where the leader returns the discussion of something you have already agreed on again and again to the beginning, “just to be sure that the right decision is taken”

How to deal with them: Document the decision with all the details and involved parties. Put all the facts that have been used in discussing possible outcomes. List as many arguments as you remember from the discussion and the agreed deadlines and put them on the table. With all that information, they should not be able to stop you or overload you if the reason for the delay is their actions.

Sign3:

The leader makes decisions based on information received from relatives instead of collected and organized from the organization

“I have a friend who told me they did it that way.”

 “I have called several colleagues on my level, and they told me that our approach can cause us trouble.”

“Years ago, I faced the same problem, and when we decided on a similar one, it proved wrong.”

Nothing wrong with all that statements, but they show more fear than logic. Instead of supporting the final decision or the execution agenda, these statements show fear and unwillingness to execute. They are a defense mechanism to save the leader and their ego from failure. No matter what the leader says or how they react, If you spot such phrases, you should know that the leader you are talking about is insecure and searches for the best defense against failure.

How to deal with them: The best solution here is to start asking as a first step. Where the leader collects the information and how reliable the sources of this information are is a good start. Then it would help if you moved by clearing the current situation and case you are solving in the company. Convincing the leader step by step that the problem, no matter that it looks like another, is entirely different is the winning strategy. That takes time, and comparison has to be made on several levels: a general description of the situation, a broad and specific description of the steps taken, and the outcomes planned with each step, and parties involved with all their specifics, expertise, and abilities. Finally, with all that argumentation, the wall of fear falls, and the leader moves forward.

Sign4:

The leader trusts only a small number of people in the organization

Problems with trust are not unusual, especially if someone is new in the organization and no one knows anything about them. But for the leader who must work with people and inspire them for great results while rusting and supporting their ideas and approaches toward work, this may be dangerous behavior. If this behavior shows up, the leader lacks trust and confidence. And in most cases, if that happens, the leader divides people into two groups – those who trust and those who do not. And with these two groups arising everywhere. No one knows everything, and no matter how much the leader trusts one person, they cannot help with every specific situation. So turning only to a small group of people, the leader defends their confidence and psychological comfort but simultaneously limits the organization’s opportunities.

How to deal with them: If you identify that sign, investigate what has made the leader trust that specific group of people. Maybe there are similarities in the way of thinking or behavioral specifics that makes them feel comfortable. When you find the basis of that trust-building process, try rearranging your behavior and reactions to copy it. Once leaders see similarities in what they expect to be trustful behavior, expertise, and actions, they will add you to that inner circle of decision-makers. Once inside the process, you may get more power to change the leader decisions and manage the strategy in a way that best suits your needs and plans.

IN CONCLUSION:

With the turbulent world and ever-changing environment, leaders feel overwhelmed with the portfolio of decisions they must manage and make. One defense mechanism from their side to that pressure is building sustainable stoppers for that pressure and limiting the stress going with it. Often, stoppers save the leader and slow the organization’s development and growth path. To overcome the barriers and put the best out of them, people need to find the right way to the leader’s inner circle and lead their leader from there to sustain ideas and growth opportunities in time. Finding the right approach and getting into the right place (the inner circle) is a prerequisite for future success for anyone, regardless of the organization’s level or position.

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