Earlier this month, I was “entertained” 😏 watching the vote for the Speaker of House of the US House of Representatives. Here are 400+ elected leaders, who could not select someone that would be able to represent and move them forward. History says that the number of ballots that were counted, had not been seen in 100 years. It was also mentioned that electing the Speaker is ”supposed” to be the easiest vote that this group of leaders will ever have to do. This time, not easy at all.
I have a firm belief that anytime you have a group of people take a vote, you will divide. Votes divide people rather than bring them together, because there is likely to be someone who won’t get what it is that they want. But this is not the focus of this message, so I will save it for later.
As I began to read about many of these leaders or Representatives as they are called, from various places across the US and understand who they are and what beliefs guide their behavior, it started to come together for me why it was so challenging. Additionally I witnessed for myself through television, how they were conducting themselves throughout the process. Did you see the almost fight that broke out towards the last ballot count? Mmmmhmmm, better than a reality television show.
What I have come to find is that there are 6 roadblocks that can get in our way as leaders and being effective. These roadblocks delay your overall success and because they are roadblocks, they may work for the short term, by swaying, convincing, or coercing decisions and followership, but in the long run, they are the very things that get in the way of your effectiveness.
Let’s explore the 6 roadblocks that cause delays and ultimately ineffectiveness as leaders.
- Pride. Pride in oneself, one’s goals, skills, competence, abilities, and strengths is great and can be a motivator, until it isn’t anymore. Leaders who have pride as a roadblock, are the people who take all the credit and never ask for help, because they believe that they are better than everyone else.
- Insecurity. Doubt, Imposter Syndrome, Hiding, Withdrawing. These are tale-tell signs of insecurity. Leaders who are insecure often times will try to take the spotlight off of themselves and direct energy towards others in both positive and negative ways so that they do not have to deal with whatever or whomever it is that they have been put in charge to lead.
- Moodiness. Happy one minute. Angry the next. Make a decision, and then change it because they are committed to people pleasing and going along to get along. Leaders who display moodiness are often swayed by the energy or emotion of what’s happening around them, versus being able to be with the energy or emotions in the space and being curious about what is trying to happen.
- Selfishness. Siloes, 1-man show, star of the show, HBIC. Leaders who are selfish want to be the only person getting credit for the work that the team accomplished. They don’t distribute work, and they keep everything to themselves.
- Perfectionism. Stalled decision making, Micro-management, multiple iterations, not willing to experiment with something new. Leaders who are perfectionist are not able to move because they are constantly asking themselves if what they are doing is good enough for the recipient. This perfectionism will also make them very judgmental of others who are willing to be messy in their leadership for the sake of learning and developing.
- Cynicism. Fear, Distrust, Pessism. Cynical leaders create environments that lack psychological safety and distrust. This causes fear and individuals around them who are constantly looking over their shoulders and unwilling to take risks or to try new ways of working.
Have you found yourself in any one of these leadership behaviors? If so, what was the impact? How did the people around you feel? How did you feel? Did work become easier or was it more challenging? Take a sheet of paper, and make a t chart. On one side write Roadblocks, and the other side write Impact. List the roadblocks you have experienced and what the impact was on the other side. Based on your own experience, who are you committed to being as a leader.