Don’t you just hate it when things are going well at work and the boss changes things and kills the energy?
Here are 7 ways bad leaders kill our energy to disrupt. Just for good measure, I’ll add a bonus one.
First, they let their EGO get in the way.
Ego kills energy because it is competitive, i.e. you vs. me. One of us has to lose and since they are the leader, we lose. No one wants to lose so leaders, leave the ego at the door. Disruption thrives on collaboration where everyone shares in the glory. Lose the ego.
You won’t change their ego but you can put it in perspective. You might find it helpful to think of this leader as a caricature with overly exaggerated features. Understand who they are and strategize around that ego.
Second, they get ANGRY.
Anger creates antagonism, aggression and hate, destroying any collaboration and creation. Meanwhile, disruptive teams foster a spirit of celebration and success. Convert the anger to passion and celebration.
Sidestep their anger because you don’t want to caught in it. One way to do this is to always keep your composure, not letting their anger become yours. They may want to share their anger but it doesn’t mean you have to accept it.
Third, they promote their own DESIRES.
Selfish ambition is competitive and kills any cooperation and collaboration. Bad leaders don’t understand that if they help every team member succeed, they will ultimately get what you want.
Recognize the hidden agendas and guard what is rightfully yours.
Fourth, they foster FEAR.
The old industrial age leader purposely fostered fear, thinking that was motivation for others to do their best. We have learned that fear does work briefly but does not motivate for the long run. Disruptive leaders work through the fear to build confidence that leads to connection, collaboration and creativity.
When working for a fearful leader, don’t get sucked into their whirlwind of torment. Do your research and build your strengths. This may be the perfect time to brush up on your skills and resume so you have other options. Opportunities have a way of dispelling fears.
Fifth, they tell TRAGIC stories of REGRET
We cannot lead disruption if we are constantly looking back and talking about “if only we had. . . ” or “we would have been successful if . . .. ” Disruptive leaders energize a team with stories of challenge and success not of misery and failure. Bad leaders use these stories to blame and shame (see below.)
When working for a bad leader that tells these stories, be careful to foster your own story of success. Everyone is the author of their own story. It is our choice whether we write a tragedy or a romance, whether we are the hero who overcomes the obstacles or the victim of that villain of a bad leader.
Sixth, they really DON’T CARE
I believe that 72% of the workforce are disengaged because they don’t think the manager, leader or organization really cares about them as an individual. They are just a cog in the system that is easily replaced. If so, no wonder we don’t have any energy to do anything significant.
You can overcome this apathy by seeing the value everyday in every project. The management or bad leader may see your value and change their tune and, if not, you have a better day, increase your skills and may begin seeking someone who appreciates you more.
Seventh, they BLAME
Blame is a guilt game designed to shove off the guilt from them to us. There are times where we are guilty and we need to know it. However, many bad leaders thrive on playing the guilt game. No wonder so many are disengaged.
No one wants to be blamed when they are not guilty. No one wants to constantly hear about what they did wrong way back when. If you are guilty, own up to it. Then ask what you can do to rectify the situation. Once that has been satisfied, ask for forgiveness. If they agree, then ask that the situation be forgotten. If that cannot happen, you are better off finding a new team because you will never succeed if you are stereotyped as the scapegoat.
BONUS TIP: Eighth, they SHAME
Of all the things bad leaders do to diminish your energy, this is the very worst. Guilt is saying you did something wrong and shame is saying you are a bad person. It goes to your core. No wonder shame is the lowest energy level short of death. Shame is what drives people to suicide, fostering a mindset that they are worthless. Too many leaders shame others in a pathetic attempt to build themselves up. How sad.
If you are working in an environment riddled with shame, find a different place to work. It is not worth your mental health.
Be Decisive and Determined
Become the Disruptive Leader
I am Dr. Loren Murfield and I develop disruptive leaders by helping them shape and tell their stories in books, blogs, articles and white papers. If you are looking to leverage your power as aspiring leader or a leader emerging in the Connection Economy, contact me today.
Checkout my online leadership platform. Power University
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(c) Murfield International, Inc. 2016