There are two types of leaders. Leaders who deliver and leaders who destroy. I see leadership material like this on LinkedIn a lot. It’s great and I agree with the content BUT If Leaders who deliver are what is required, why are Leaders who destroy so popular at the moment? Is material like this helping us deal with cognitivedissonance?
From Wikipedia: In A Theory of Cognitive Dissonance (1957), Leon Festinger proposed that human beings strive for internal psychological consistency in order to mentally function in the real world. A person who experiences internal inconsistency tends to become psychologically uncomfortable and is motivated to reduce the cognitive dissonance. This is done by changing parts of the cognition to justify the stressful behavior, by adding new parts to the cognition that causes the psychological dissonance, or by actively avoiding social situations and contradictory information that are likely to increase the magnitude of the cognitive dissonance.
Let’s look at key difference between leaders who deliver and leaders who destroy.
Leaders Who Deliver
- They share the maximum information they can.
- They use their power mindfully and vigilantly.
- They create conditions for motivation to flourish.
- They are obsessed with performance and results.
- They stamp on poor behaviour whatever the results.
- They review owns and losses with equal passion and discipline.
- They adjust goals in any direction to ensure they are motivating.
- They talk endlessly about responsibility.
- They are mindful when using their power.
- They understand the politics.
Leaders Who Destroy
- They share the minimum information they can get away with.
- They use their power thoughtlessly.
- They use pressure, fear and hierarchy to motivate.
- They are myopically focused one results.
- They tolerate poor behaviour if the results is OK.
- They move on from wins and interrogate failures.
- Once set, they’ll only move goals to make them harder.
- They talk endlessly about accountability.
- They are frightened of losing their power.
- They are political.
So which type of leader are you? Do you recognise these characterises in people or leaders around you?