The greatest leaders all have one thing in common–they know where they are going. Their purpose is clear and they consistently pursue their goals, which engages the people they serve. Unfortunately, many of us can think of a leader who, instead, creates uncertainty and ambiguity, leaving the direction unclear. This behavior is the result of one or more of the following three leadership flaws, which can plague any of us if we’re not careful.
#1. Deviation from Core Values
Confusion sets in when we deviate from our core values, a set of principles that guide our decision-making. When this happens, chaos ensues because people are not guided appropriately.
#2. High Expectations with Minimal Direction
Uncertainty is also the result of high expectations coupled with little direction. Leaders can erroneously exchange a lack of direction with empowerment, but that’s never really the case. People need direction on where the organization is heading, along with the freedom to execute the vision in their own way. This process, bridged with support, increases clarity and the individual’s confidence.
#3. Conflict Avoidance Creates Ambiguity
Ambiguity is the outcome when we work to avoid conflict. Leaders who avoid conflict, to either create comfort or appease the status quo, end up with a lack of clarity, which eventually creates greater discomfort and disharmony. Tackling tough problems always creates greater clarity and is a high functioning behavior of successful leaders.
Take 3 minutes to challenge yourself at work.
Challenge Yourself: Let’s Get RAW
Reflect–Review your vision statement, core values, and organizational goals. Are they clear and well-known to everyone? Are all decisions backed-up by these pillars?
Act–Create a system to check-in with your direct reports on a regular basis, not to manage the how but to reinforce the why.
Write–Keep a post-it or 3X5 card nearby at all times to remind yourself of the vision, core values, and organizational goals. Write them out in several places for regular review.
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