Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Considering Nice Leaders

Nothing is more pathetic and harmful than people in authority that avoid conflict. They choose the easy path now while letting problems grow to a point that those within their authority will suffer under what their passivity has allowed to grow. These leaders often want to be liked and thought to be nice people, this is why they will fail and ultimately loose their talented and capable subordinates. They are weak because they will not fight, and they are even weaker because others understand this.

A dissembler can act with impunity in this environment. Under a passive and feckless leader there is no justice. A leader must be willing to defend himself and his interests, and he must be willing to attack. In a world of passive aggressive personalities and self righteous lazy complainers who feel entitled to what others have earned, there is often no choice but to call them out for what they are, and for what they are doing. Only darkness, neglect and a blind eye allows these ills to fester and take hold. This very disease has taken down or crippled companies of great size and strength, it is fatal to small companies.

A good leader must identify these problems, expose them, and attack them. This same leader must also determine the extent to which he can separate his interests from those of the weak leaders. The best fortifications are distance and independence. Weak leaders will always try to leach off of a strong team. Their weakness leaves the strong partner holding more of the weight, and almost always all of the responsibility. One signal way to spot this feckless, spineless, nice leader is to identify what they are accountable for – you will find them with responsibility but no accountability. In reverse you will often find your better leaders with accountability but little authority.

There is nothing more despicable than the weak leader. They make daily lives worse with their desire to be liked, considered nice, and avoid conflict. They do not honor their responsibility, or assume fault when they fail, and they will scream and complain if you even begin to shine a light on their continued slow daily failure.

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