Quality Leadership Tips For You: The Quality Leader’s Life
On The Edge Of Leader-I-Tis:
What are some of the early symptoms?
One of the great ironies of Leader-I-Tis is that a leader can lead well in one organization but become sick and irrelevant in another. I suppose there are several theories out there, but maybe it all leads back to one’s “calling.” There are some leaders who are placed in positions of leadership, not because of a “call” or due to an extraordinary skill, but because of popularity, because of politics, because of a desire by the other leaders to gather like-minded leaders who will buy into the organization’s culture. It is within this closed group where the seeds of elitism and entitlement ferment and grow. Unseen by most of the organization’s members, the leaders become intoxicated with the power of leadership and, without realizing it, have begun to infect themselves with Leader-I-Tis. Once the infection spreads into the members of the organization, it becomes a plague, putting all who come into contact with the organization at risk.
One of the early symptoms of Leader-I-Tis is a growing separation from the members of the organization who connect with the outside world. In a business, this would be the customer. In a non-profit, this would be donors and the recipients of the services rendered. An air of superiority, a sense of being better than, will evolve into a more serious circumstance that, if unchecked, will lead to a full-blown case of Leader-I-Tis.
Another early symptom of Leader-I-Tis is a fear to change the status quo. In the case of an organization, there can be a fear of replacing old ideas with new ideas, replacing old leaders with new ones. Though cast as a legitimate concern (what will happen if the new leaders are not as good as we are?), refusal to create a culture of leadership transition will cripple an organization. History is full of examples of leaders who passed on the baton, the mantle of leadership to others (Moses to Joshua; Elijah to Elisha; Paul to Timothy, etc.). History is also filled with negative examples of those leaders who did not pass on leadership to future leaders. Some of these organizations, built upon the personality of one leader, were never the same again. Others, simply died.
Has Leader-I-Tis crept its way into your organization, and maybe even sickened you? Is there a reliable antidote? We will examine the twelve leadership failures that sink an organization in the next blog posting on Friday.
Lead with Quality in Mind!
Excerpt from Living Above The Fray: Learning Not To Only Survive But Thrive When Serving In Toxic Organizations (Release date Summer 2013) by Dr. Denny Bates. 2013. Something New Christian Publishers, Florence, SC. Copyright Dr. Denny Bates. All Rights Reserved
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