You find your gym trainer at McD hogging away a Maharaja Mac. Your uncle who is against you smoking, but sneaks out to take a fag. In situations like this, what do you do now?
Sitting right across the desk, you can see the person who goes completely against of what he advocates or is not consistent with work. What if he does exactly what he tells you not to.
How often do you go against your words when you practice leadership? Do you find yourself forcing yourself to wear a mask and be this powerful and strong leader who does not give in to laziness?
You do realise that there could be situations when you expect your team member to be on time and proactive. But you, at home will procrastinate when your mother tells you to do some grocery shopping.
Why do you think this happens?
Advocacy alone may not help your team mates reach bigger goals. Only when you are a true practitioner of what you preach, you become a better leader.
I recently read a book called Everyone Culture. It talks about how a leader can maximise the organisation’s potential by maximising every individual’s potential. It is not a crime to make a mistake but it is a sin when you repeat it. When you show growth from mistakes made, you build credibility. Your team will start trusting you more.
Next time you see your boss or your leader who is not following what he said, these are the things I recommend you to do.
1 – Take your boss out for coffee [or beer]
This is not a surprise date that needs careful planning. Make it clear to your boss that you would like to share something in private. A cafe helps set the tone.
2 – Open up your conversation and by doing so, open up yourself
Speak a lot more on the emotion and the feelings of past experiences and celebrate the successes enjoyed. Share what the problems are and how the team has been struggling in their work because of this issue.
3 – Point out how the team is reacting because of his/her actions
This is the time to shed the ego and to look at problems as obstacles to overcome. Be objective in approach.
4 – Chalk out a plan of action by the time the second round of coffee comes.
All cafés serve coffee along with a napkin. Borrow a pen and start charting a timeline and action steps to make sure this does not repeat.
5 – Be your leader’s accountability partner
Time to be the newbie of social media again. Every time you feel your boss is repeating the mistake, replace the, “Good Morning, Have a great day” message with “Hey! There is a slight deviation to the action plan. Is there any way I can help you?”
6 – Allow yourself to swap places with your boss when the situation changes.
The time will come when you make mistakes Now don’t worry, your accountability partner is set.
Hurting the ego or creating a crack in the relationship will not happen in such workshops. I have faced it and it all boils down to the approach you have towards them. Being a follower is a form of leadership. Unless you show collective growth, you or your boss are not going to achieve the targets.
Share instances when you felt like pointing it out to your seniors when they did not follow what they advocated in the comments below.