Disastrous Leadership Approach, The I Will Get the Results No Matter What it Takes Person

The I’ll-get-the-results-no-matter-what-it-takes Approach is used by the person who tosses out ethics on the road to hitting a number.

Bernard Madoff, Ken Lay, and Bernie Ebbers. The names have almost slipped away from people’s memories, yet these individuals cheated big time and robbed their companies and society of tens of millions of dollars. If you can’t operate with integrity, you cannot be a great business leader. It really is that simple and straightforward.

Two Questions to Avoid The I’ll-get-the-results-no-matter-what-it-takes Approach 

1. Are you getting the business results in a way that you would be willing to explain to anyone in your business or at home?

2. If you’re not comfortable with the way in which you get business results, what alternative approach can you use that will allow you to sleep at night?

Disastrous Leadership Approach, The Coattail Rider

The Coattail Rider is the person who has a great relationship with a key executive or customer and leverages the relationship in every situation.

This is the son or daughter of the owner or a great friend of the general manager who makes it very clear to everyone in the organization that the key to success is the relationship with the boss rather than the results that are achieved. While this person has a big title, other people realize that if they want to get anything done they are going to have to work around this person. The Coattail Rider becomes one of the major obstacles for people and is ultimately rendered pointless as a leader of any significance.

Not every relative or friend of the boss is a Coattail Rider. Many are extraordinary performers and deserve their position. Just be careful that you never allow your relationship with your boss to be the primary driver of future promotions.

Two Questions to Avoid The Coattail Rider Disastrous Leadership Approach

1. When you try to influence other people do you somehow insert into the conversation or somehow make it clear that the other person should consider your relationship with the boss before making a decision?

2. How can you make your influence to the other person only about what is best for the overall business and not what is best for you?

Disastrous Leadership Approach, The Superhero

The Superhero is the person who keeps working longer hours in an attempt to continually improve results.

This person thinks if his or her predecessor got pretty good results working 40 hours a week than he or she will produce amazing results by working 80 hours a week. At first people admire this person’s superhuman effort and the results do improve for awhile. The problem sets in when this person thinks that just putting in longer hours is the key to success. It’s not the number of hours that produces better results, but the number of quality hours. The other problem occurs when this person thinks he or she is a superhero who will never tire out. Eventually burnout sets in and this person becomes very ineffective.

Two Questions to Avoid The Superhero Disastrous Leadership Approach

1. How many hours of work, including travel, did you put in last month?

2. How many of those hours do you think were of real quality toward improving your desired business outcomes?

Disastrous Leadership Approach, The Perennial Student

The Perennial Student is the person who focuses only on learning more without applying the insights.

The key to improving performance is not accumulating knowledge. The key is to learn, tweak, and apply. Learning from other people is important. Try to do it every day. Then ask yourself what you can adjust or add to what you have learned that will make it even more effective for your situation. Then apply that learning. The Perennial Student wants to read every book and attend every seminar and sign up to be mentored by every senior executive in the company, but then he or she doesn’t want to apply that knowledge. That’s a huge waste of an opportunity for the person and for the company.

Two Questions to Avoid The Perennial Student Disastrous Leadership Approach

1. What did I learn today that can in some way improve my performance or the performance of our business?

2. How will I apply this learning in some way over the next 48 hours?