Character and power tend to go hand in hand. Abraham Lincoln once said, “Nearly all men can stand the test of adversity, but if you really want to test a man’s character, give him power.”
All too often I’ve watched someone be placed in leadership, and then they become a mean control freak. Or someone who feels the only way to lead is to knock people down. The worst is watching them try to destroy people to get what they want. In all cases, I see what Lincoln was talking about.
If power causes you to treat team members like trash, then in my mind, that’s what you character is made from. As a leader, you should be lifting your team up! You should be looking for opportunities to grow them, not knock them down. You should be focusing on how to take your team to the next level, not how to get them out of your way.
I can never say it enough, a leader’s job it to make their people successful, not the other way around! If you can’t see how you’re doing that, then you’re not. If you’ve received your leadership from stepping on people, then that is what you will breed in your team; people who treat people like pavement.
Spend some time today just focusing on what your leadership looks like. Are you the kind of person that people love… or fear? If they love you, they tell you. If they fear you, they appease you. Try and be truthful with yourself about what it actually is. If it’s the latter, then you have to realize that you’re hurting your leadership every moment someone on your team is afraid.
Question: When have you seen this type of leadership, and what did it produce? In either leadership of team members?
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- Leadership Question: Interviews And Core Values (ChrisLoCurto.com)