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Thursday, October 28, 2010

So...You’re Allowed To Be A Jerk?

My Boss is a jerk.  I really don’t like my Boss.  What gives him the right to treat me this way?  She has a bad day and I suffer.   Ok, enough already.    Do you know that’s what they really say?  Do you know they are talking about you?   So... you’re allowed to be a jerk, just because you’re the boss? 
I get concerned when I hear these pronouncements.  After I follow up on the statements I hear the same excuses from these bosses.  They say; I have so much stress.  They have no clue what it’s really like in this office.  With this economy and business challenges it’s not easy being the boss.  I should just fire them all.
You know, they might be right.  As Will Ferrell said in his portrayal of an American President, “This presidenting is really hard”.  But that is not an excuse.  When the going gets really tough, it is not time to crawl into a hole and make autocratic decisions, ignoring your employees and your leadership team.  When you leave those collaborative times of Peace, and find yourself in the decisive times of War, it still calls for you to be a good leader of others, in addition to yourself.  
If you change your style because the conditions demand it, let people know the rules of engagement have changed.  If being decisive requires you to make immediate decisions, you still have the responsibility to communicate the state of business, and the impact on your organization.  
Emotional Stability in a Rare Leader™ is exemplified by the “boss” who can alter their leadership style as conditions dictate.  Emotional Stability in a Rare Leader™ is bookmarked by increased targeted communications indicating the style and rules of leadership have changed.  Emotional Stability in a Rare Leader™ is noticed by others when the Integrity of Character never falters when times are tough.  Emotional Stability in a Rare Leader™ shines through, and creates a Charisma which in turn develops an even stronger following when employees need direction.
One of my clients found himself faced with pretty dire conditions as the market conditions hit his company even harder than expected.  Even though they planned for a downturn, and applied their tactical plan, revenues tumbled, and the news was bad.  But my client realized the bad news was not a secret.  Employees throughout the company now feared the worst.  It wasn’t merely about jobs anymore, everyone knew it was about company survival.  
Rather than sit in his office and dictate office closings, job eliminations, and deeper expense cuts, this president went on the offensive.  Rather than put on a happy face and try to tell his close supporters that they would weather the storm, he told the truth.  He told the truth to everyone.  He visited every office and held town meetings.  He listened.   He spoke openly about the challenges facing everyone.  But he also spoke bravely about the tough decisions he was making every day.  He laid out a very specific plan of the limited options to create survival.  
The groundswell of support grew as word spread about the Character,  Charisma, Decisiveness, and Emotional Stability of their leader.  We may need to wait another 12 -18 months as the economic recovery slowly continues to see if they survive.  But what we know immediately, is that these employees want to believe in their Leader.  These employees want to follow their Leader.  Even though times of Peace have been left far behind, the new style of leadership in this time of War has been clearly communicated, and employees have accepted the challenge to follow.
Don’t be a Jerk...Become a Rare Leader™.
  1. Who do you turn to when times get tough?
  2. What do you do when you find plans are not working?
  3. Where is your comfort zone during times of War?
  4. When will you begin to communicate realities of the future?
  5. How will you lead your employees when the going gets tough?
If you want to learn more about the Rare Leader™ in you, 
or if you are interested in retaining Steve as your Executive Coach, 
Contact Steve Riege via: twitter, or his website.

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