Earlier this year, I wrote, “What Makes an Attractive Leader,” which outlines characteristics of successful leaders. But what makes someone unattractive as a leader? And what should people in leadership avoid? Regardless of your position, title, or role, if people don’t want to follow you of their own accord, you’re not a leader. A leader has followers — do you?
7 Activities to Avoid
1. Finger-pointing — One of the quickest and surest ways to lose followers is to finger point. Even if it’s warranted, it will not solve anything. Rather than finger point, find solutions. If someone requires a critique, do it privately, and make it a teaching opportunity. Take the emotions out of it, and don’t make it personal. It’s not who’s right, it’s what’s right. The only person a leader should point a finger at is themselves.
2. Self-serving — Leadership is service. True leaders take on the responsibility of serving others. Anyone who accepts a leadership role, strictly for personal gain, is doomed to fail. The success of those who enjoy helping others is measured by the followers they serve. Leadership means putting others first.
3. Playing Games — Political maneuvering, pitting one against the other, and withholding information are not games followers enjoy. Those who are not forthright, honest, and open will not gain followers.
4. Creating Drama — There’s enough real-life drama in life without creating more. Don’t make a mountain out of a molehill. Not everything is urgent, and if you make it so, you become the boy who cried wolf. People seldom follow drama queens… or kings.
5. Negative no-saying – If you tell others what can’t be done, that’s what will happen. Those who are quick to point out the down side become energy vampires draining the drive out of teams. Followers don’t want to constantly hear what’s bad or wrong.
6. Not making decisions — Leaders are not wishy-washy, they make decisions based on the best information available and lead others in their vision.
7. Getting angry — If you want to lose followers, get mad at them. Bullying will only push them away from you. It’s never worked in leadership, and while it was more prominent in past, it’s no longer acceptable. Hold it in, don’t do it, or don’t try to lead.
This post was easy for me to write, because at one time or another, I’ve done every single one of these. You can be like me and learn the hard way, or simply strive to avoid these 7 activities. Believe me, the latter is easier.