A Know-it-all, a Fence-sitter, a Poker-face and a Cyclone formed an exec team…
No, this isn’t the first line of a bad joke, wherein the next scene they walk into a bar! It’s the combination of derailers in an executive team.
These are four of the 12 leadership derailers I write about in my book ‘Developing Direct Reports: Taking the guesswork out of leading leaders’. A derailer shows up when we dial up a ‘strength’ so high so it becomes a ‘strength in excess’, preventing the full expression of our leadership genius.**
Know-it-alls can seem closed to input and ideas from others, and it can feel like ‘my way or the highway’.
The fence-sitter is our indecisive leader who will at times won’t offer clear leadership and direction, creating bottle necks in progress and frustration for others.
Poker-face shows little emotion. Communicating with a non-expressive and direct style, they can become frustrated at inference and having to read between the lines.
The Cyclone is like a bull at a gate. In a hurry to achieve results, there can be a wake of destruction and disengagement behind them.
Can you picture an executive team meeting when each is at their worst? Ouch – no fun for anyone. So this executive team is pretty dysfunctional, right? Wrong! This is a highly effective leadership team.
We all have a leadership derailer (or more!), so having the derailer is not the issue. It’s how we manage our derailers that determines our effectiveness.
The leaders in this executive team each have a high level of self-awareness. They know their personal strengths, gaps, risks, and ‘rainy-day’ behaviours. They are also willing to be vulnerable individually and as a team. They have openly and honestly shared their triggers in the team and given each other permission to call unhelpful behaviours and support one another.
What’s your level of awareness of your own leadership derailers? How about those of your peers? To what extent do you share, challenge, and support one another to be the best leadership version of you?
Fearless Leadership teams are full of flawed humans working together to make the courageous shift to engage in essential conversations that build trust and move us forward.
Go Fearlessly – Corrinne