Not Every Leader Leads – Part Two

In my last post we talked about following an ineffective leader. We also discussed working through the frustration that comes with that situation. 


If you can manage to work through the frustration and lead yourself you are way ahead of most people. Too many people spend their days wallowing in their lack of leadership. They should be focused on leading themselves to success. 


If you have the leadership skills to deal with the frustration of following a leader who doesn’t lead then it’s likely you also have the leadership skills to “lead up” in your organization.


Leading up is the second part of the process for overcoming the lack of leadership when you’re working with a leader who doesn’t lead. Here’s the thing about “leading up” in your organization; while it is absolutely necessary when your leader isn’t leading it is also beneficial when your leader is already an effective leader.


If you’re a leader at any level in your organization then you should be adding value to everything and everyone you have contact with. I know it can seem counterintuitive to help people succeed at some cost to your own success but that’s Authentic Leadership. If you can help anyone then you should help them. It is the right thing to do. While it may feel as if you’re potentially costing yourself a promotion or raise by helping other people look good you’re not.  


Doing the right thing is never wrong. 


So, let’s talk about the “how to” of leading up. First before you can lead anyone else you must lead yourself. Allowing the frustrations of your position or job to dominate your thoughts and actions is not leading yourself. 


You must maintain control over your emotions because failing to do so will have a huge negative affect over your attitude. When it comes to influencing those around you, especially those above you in your organization, attitude is everything. If you can’t control your emotions then you won’t control your attitude. 


To lead up in your organization you need to remove as much work as possible from your leader. That will inevitably mean doing more than what’s in your job description. It will frequently mean doing it will little or no recognition, at least for you. Trust the fact that someone notices your effort. Even in the very unlikely event that no one does you can take pride in your efforts because you will have done what’s right. 


Leading up requires that you have the ability to say no to your leader. Whether your leader is an effective leader or something less than effective they need someone in their sphere of influence who has the courage to tell them the truth. Sometimes that will mean telling them what they don’t what to hear. If you’re going to lead up you’ll need to find a tactful way to do that. 


Leading up also means doing the things that others are unwilling to do. Anyone can do the easy stuff; leaders who lead up tackle the tough jobs that other people avoid. Making a difference for the people above you, or anywhere in your organization, will sometimes mean sacrificing your personal objectives for the sake of others. It may mean working with people you would prefer not to work with. But leading up teaches you tenacity and resiliency that people unwilling to lead up with never know. 


The reality is that there are people in leadership positions all around the world who don’t actually lead. If you find yourself being “led” by one of those don’t allow your attitude to be impacted by the lack of leadership.


Choose to control your emotions. Choose to lead up in your organization. Make the choice to have a positive impact on those who could have a negative impact on you. 

All is takes is a decision to LeadToday!

Why There Is Gridlock in Washington, DC


If you’re a US citizen, or even a citizen of another country that is concerned about the world’s economies, you may have noticed that Washington, DC is a total mess.

I watch lots of news programs and read lots of new publications everyday. It makes no difference if it’s the “far left liberal” media, the “fair and balanced” bunch or the “far right conservatives”, they all have two things in common: they have a point of view to get across and they hardly ever tell us what’s really going on.

The gridlock in Washington is not caused by a difference of opinion. It’s not caused by opposing viewpoints. Differences of opinion and viewpoints are not only healthy, they are in fact a necessary ingredient of good decision making. It’s not caused by uninformed or uneducated people, I think the people that are sent to Washington are by and large, some very smart people.

The gridlock in Washington is caused by a lack of leadership, or more accurately, some very poor leadership. You can’t really blame one party over the other, there is so little decent leadership that there is plenty of blame to go around.

So why is it that these “leaders” don’t lead? Well, I have a few ideas on that!

First, and this is by far the biggest problem, they put their wants and needs above the wants and needs of the people (and country) that they are supposed to be leading. They have somehow gotten into their heads that their leading is about them. They are about as far away from the “servant leader” model as someone in a leadership position could be. Their “win at all costs” mentality hurts everyone that they are supposed to serve. Make no mistake, the havoc caused by the poor leadership in Washington is affecting everyone, no Republican or Democrat will be spared from this near total lack of leadership.

Second, they have completely forgotten whose money they are spending. A tax refund is not the government giving us some of their money, it is the government returning to us some of our money. The talk in Washington about giving us more money to spend by reducing our taxes is laughable.

Third, and perhaps the most maddening, they have completely forgotten who they work for. In case you have forgotten as well, let me remind you. The people WE send to Washington, DC to conduct the nation’s business on our behalf work for US. Imagine what would happen to you if your job required that you develop and implement a budget on an annual basis and you failed to do that for years. I know you probably can’t imagine a scenario like that because it would never happen, it couldn’t happen because you would have been fired after the first year.

These elected individuals in Washington, DC should at least have the decency to return their paychecks to the Federal Reserve. They didn’t earn it and I see no reason that they should keep it.

Almost all of them got themselves elected by talking about going to Washington to lead. That being the case we need to make sure we don’t dump all the blame on John or Harry or Nancy or even just Barack. They all claimed the mantle of leadership when they were running for office so they should all except their share of the responsibility.

So… call or write the “leader” that works for you and tell them to either start leading or get the heck out of the way and give someone else a chance. Remind them that it’s your money they are talking about, that they work for you and that it’s your wants and needs they should be considering.

We the People of the United States of America can no longer afford their poor, no vision, no compromise, no caring, no direction, no future, leadership. If they can’t lead then they need to go and go now!