What Anti-EntreLeadership Looks Like

Here is a guest post by Steve Baynes. You can follow him on Facebook. You can guest post as well! Read how to here.

I really enjoy reading Chris’ blog, and it’s not just because I’ve known him for many years. I appreciate his wisdom. In fact, it would be nice to work for a boss who actually practices what Chris preaches.

I’ve been in the corporate world since 2001. In the last decade, I’ve seen both the good and the bad. Unfortunately, the bad outweighs the good 492-to-1. Since I was, at one point, in a work culture that promoted EntreLeadership, I know when it is not being practiced. So here are a few ideas of what not to do when it comes to being an EntreLeader. You can call it the “anti-entre” if you’d like:

  • Your team can spot “fake” a mile away. There’s a bigwig where I work who is a number cruncher, a true bottom line guy. About once a month, when he wants to “motivate” us, he’ll come out of his office and be our friend. He’ll joke about the weather. For good measure, he’ll throw in a question about a local sports team. You can almost feel the eyes rolling in the room. Be consistent. Since your team members are your most valuable resource, let them know they are appreciated. I promise. It will make them want to work harder for you all month long.
  • Practice what you preach. We’ve learned from Psalm 133 that leadership and work ethic often come from the top and dribble down. Your actions are mirrored. There are “leaders” at my company who have a “Thank God it’s Friday” attitude, which trickles down to the rest of us. On Friday at 3:58 p.m., our office is like the starting line at the Summer Olympics. Bags are packed, computers are off, and car keys are in hand. Everyone is just waiting for that whistle to blow. As a leader, your tone sets the mood for the rest of your team. Create a culture that you would want to work in. Trust me. It will pay off.
  • Catch your people doing something right! I can’t stress how important this concept is.  We get countless emails at my mega-corporate office about things we are prohibited from doing. These constant notices of the obvious only serve to remind us that we are paid drones—just employees going through the motions. I do understand rules. I’m just believe it’s more effective to point out the things that your team is doing right, rather than setting them up for failure.
  • Don’t make us guess your mood. There is nothing worse than needing to gauge the temperature of your office before going in to ask a simple question. I know everyone has good days and bad. But for the sake of your team, be consistent. Don’t bring personal grudges to the office. Don’t take your road rage out on us. The simple truth? We really want to be good team members. We want to do excellent work, and we eventually want to move to your desk when you get promoted to supreme ruler someday. Help us help you!

As a leader, it’s much more beneficial for you to create a work atmosphere that makes your team wake up in the morning and look forward to their day. It’s really possible. I promise!

Question: How would you help this type of leader?

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34 thoughts on “What Anti-EntreLeadership Looks Like”

  1. Those number crunchers are what hold back growth from happening in most companies. They over analyze everything. I have found that what works best for those guys is to have them spend a day on the frontline with the folks out on the pavement selling the company and then they get a little more big picture:)

    Keep up the great blogs!!

    1. That is a great idea. It’s easy to become comfortable with the way things are instead of consistently trying to improve our leadership skills. I never want to become comfortable with status quo. In my career or in life.

  2. Uhm…Yeah…Steve…I’m going to need you to come in on Saturday, Ok? Greeeeat…

    I appreciate you bringing your experience to play here. I think being in a lot of different situations can give you perspective. Because of your involvement in different environments, you have first hand experience of what works and what doesn’t. You can take the information from EntreLeadership and run that through you own past in order to really grasp the truths.
    I think that’s why exposing ourselves to different environments is critical for leaders. Be around other leaders. Good ones and bad ones. Some of the best things I’ve learned from leaders was seeing firsthand what I DIDN’T want to be like, heh.

    1. hahaha…. yes, I never want to get to a place where I am comfortable with status quo, like i’ve seen in some leaders. Understanding entreleadership qualities is always beneficial to the entire team, not just one person.

  3. So here’s the question: How long does it take for the personal growth and change in the “entre-leader” to be believed and trusted with in the team….How long does it take to get from employees to teammates?

  4. Just yesterday a friend called me to describe her new work situation and bemoaned the fact that her new supervisor is hatefully condescending, just like the previous 2 places of employment. We puzzled over how so many bosses can be such yucky people. Do you have to be a pompous jerk to get promoted around here?? And everywhere??

    The dude in the photo perfectly illustrates why I choose to struggle along with art in a bad economy in a poor rural area rather than find a “real job”! Gross, gross, gross. His poor wife (if he has one!)

      1. Problem is for some, just like employees, they don’t want to learn. Therefore they don’t go to look for it. I wish I could say this wasn’t true, but it is. Some of it I believe comes because they believe this is the culture of a “boss”.

  5. This is really true, I read business inspirational books, podcast, blogs (as you can see here) and I still just can’t stand some days at work. It is funny but I get more done when the boss is away cause I think about what needs to be done, not just looking busy for the boss… weird counter productive thinking I know, but somehow I was taught to look busy not getting busy.

    I tried logging in to my wordpress account for this but it does not seem to be working…If I may make a shameless plug my blog is hartsoffice.wordpress.com

    I am trying to get my boss to read entreleadership, and I don’t even care anymore if he takes it offensively!

    1. I know what you mean, Michael…. It’s completely different when leadership lets you know they are on your side, wanting you to succeed instead of waiting for you to do something wrong. It makes you want to work harder….

  6. The first point about the guy who only comes out of his office once a month when he wants something is great. That rubs me the wrong way and I try to be aware of my own tendency to do that to other people.

    You can’t just show up with your hand out when you need something. People can spot that stuff a mile a way and eventually they’ll learn to tune it out or run when they see you coming!

    It helps to “earn the right to be heard” (to steal a phrase from YoungLife) by investing in relationships and people BEFORE you need them – not so you’ll have a chip you can cash in later, but because it’s how relationships work.

  7. I feel leadership is a art. A leader must must always ready to go the extra mile. He must think and act ahead of his subordinates (so that he is a good role model to them). When the leader says one and does some other, he will be labeled hypocrite. His influence will not work under that circumstance.

    unfortunately, a leader has a very little margin for error and he cannot afford to make mistakes like his subordinates. Leadership is always a tough call.

    1. So true. But if you can build that relationship, where your team members respect you because you do everything you can to make them successful, the tough calls become easier. ________________________________

  8. I think the first point bothers me the most.
    I would rather someone stay holed up in their office than the come out pretending to be something they’re not. That said, I think every leader needs to work on interacting with and caring about others. Just don’t fake it. 🙂

  9. Immediately thought of a “boss” who called my mom and dad at their business to find out where I was after hours, called me on my cell when I was at the movies on a Saturday night, chewed me out one day I missed a work event on a Sunday because I had to go help my brother who almost got killed in a car accident… And many other lovely stories. DON’T be that guy!!!!

  10. Great thoughts Steve!

    I have been focusing a lot this month on what makes a good leader, for multiple reasons, but largely due to a clients department leader who resigned the first week of December. This has created both peace in the office and with the employees who are no longer having to judge someone’s demeanor, risk being chewed out, put up with restrictive rules, dread going to work, etc. However, it has also increased and created extra workload…but yet at the same time, it has made things simpler. I have watched the team respond and change in many ways in just a few short weeks. As a consultant working with them in this role, being a leader means you step in to help in all roles. Being a leader means you don’t condemn the previous leader, you show by educating what should have transpired and what needs to transpire. Being a leader, means that even when an employee tells you that “respect must be earned”, you know that your position requires that as an employee they follow you and you can’t let their attitude rip you apart. A leader let’s the team know that you know their concerns were not addressed and you will do everything to address them. Being a leader means you will be constantly evaluating them and checking in. These are ways you help them know what a good leader is. It is challenge to point out the mistakes and encourage the progress, but through continued reflection and focus you can do both. Through practice and life’s current scenarios, I am continuing to learn what makes a good leader as I strive to be one!

    I appreciate the reminders! Let me encourage each of you to not be an Anti-EntreLeader!

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