Question from another EntreLeadership Podcast listener:
I am picking up this podcast due to the great things I’ve heard about it from the Dave Ramsey show podcast. When I am in a situation where I see obvious poor leadership around me, what are some suggestions for how to proceed constructively and politically correctly?
Thank you Tim for your question and your comments about the podcast. We hope to make it the best podcast out there. As for your question about how to deal with poor leadership, there are a few things you can do:
- Look out below! – If the poor leadership is below you, then it’s an obvious fix. The problem is your leadership. It is your job to make your team successful. Therefore, if a leader is failing, and he is under your leadership, you have to figure out what you’re doing or not doing that’s causing the problem.
- Peer to peer – If the leader is on the same level as you are, then I suggest you start an iron-sharpening-iron lunch group. Take time each week to meet with those leaders away from the office as equals, and use that time to mentor them. For this to work, you can’t be the one doing all the leading. Instead, make it an opportunity for all leaders to share what’s working and what’s not in their leadership. That will give you the opportunity, with love and grace, to discuss some of the issues you see. Be prepared! They will do the same with you.
- Going up? – If you’re noticing poor leadership above you, consider what John Maxwell said in 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership: “The true measure of leadership is influence – nothing more, nothing less.” You can influence those above you with your diligence, your excellence and your example. You can accomplish that by asking them to mentor you. That may sound backwards. After all, why would you want a poor leader to mentor you? But a close mentoring relationship will give you the opportunity to lead and influence them without an uncomfortable confrontation about their lack of leadership skills.
As you can see, in all situations influence is key. It starts with you. If you go the extra mile to be a great leader, you can, in turn, influence other leaders.
Question: What are your suggestions for dealing with others’ poor leadership?