“The power is out!”
In today’s modern world, this is not a term anyone wants to hear. We’ve all been there, in that moment when your mind must switch gears to determine what you CAN do without power. In most cases, especially in the workplace, the answer is, “Not much.”
Power is so important, that, days before a hurricane hits, utility crews are on their way to hit the ground running en masse.
What happens when the power goes out in leadership?
A lot. In fact, the results can be disastrous.
- Details are obscured.
- Decisions are abdicated.
- Deadlines are abandoned.
- Damages are inevitable.
When a leader loses his or her power to lead, it affects the entire organization.
How can you tell, as a leader, when you are losing power?
- You can’t motivate your team.
- You lose your voice of authority.
- You lose respect.
- You notice no one is seeking your guidance or advice and that, when provided, it is essentially dismissed.
- Your team is not functioning well.
- Your team is not performing up to its potential.
- You are not getting results.
In an effort to regain lost power, here are some common approaches.
Many leaders make the mistake of over-correcting when they sense they are losing their power. As in winter driving, this can set a leader into a tailspin…a “disaster waiting to happen.”
Employees tend to see these leaders as “my way or the highway” leaders.
If your team is working under the umbrella of fear of failure, sooner or later, they will live down to your expectations instead of up to their potential. The results could be disastrous.
Others blame the team. They will throw their team members under the bus at any opportunity.
“My team members are lazy.”
“He dropped the ball.”
“They just can’t get along.”
“She should have known what to do.”
These types of leaders often ask, “How can I motivate my team?”
The question they should be asking is, “How can I motivate my team’s leader?”
De facto Leaders
Still others abdicate the leadership responsibility entirely.
“What do you expect me to do about it?”
“You decide. I don’t have an opinion in the matter.”
In his book, 5 Levels of Leadership, John C. Maxwell would call these “leaders by position.” They may have the position by appointment, but they have not earned the respect of their team.
There is another type of leader, who does know how to get their power back.
Deliberation is consciously applied thinking and action. Deliberate leaders know that power is a two-edged sword. It can be used a weapon to tear down a team or as a tool to cut through the obstacles and clear a path for their team to follow. They consciously choose to use power as a tool to serve and lead their team.
How do you get your Leadership power back?
Having an accountability partner not only helps a leader stay on track; it also helps to keep the ego in check. Essentially, accountability helps a leader gain success without losing his or her team in the process.
Your accountability partner helps you create your power grid.
Listen to the team.
Leaders seek knowledge and wisdom. Great leaders learn from people at all levels of the organization. Doing so allows the leader to gain full perspective – both big picture and detailed, inside team and outside customers. The act of listening provides a powerful platform for decision making, and it creates a culture of mutual respect.
Your team is your power crew.
Lead the charge.
If changes are to happen in your organization, they will need to start with you. If you wait for a team member to take the lead – here’s a profound thought – they will!
If you lead the charge well, you and your team can work as one powerful force to achieve results. But if you, as a leader, lack the charge you need, your organization will suffer the consequences of weak leadership.
To lead the charge, you must be strong as a leader – mentally, physically, emotionally, strategically, and relationally. Your personal habits affect your professional leadership.
Guard and charge your power sources regularly.
Do you desire to have greater influence?
Engage your power grid, power crew, and power sources today!
For more resources on how you can build strong leadership, click here to learn about the Maxwell Method of Communications Impact Report.
As the CEO of Strength Leader Development, Deb Ingino is a highly sought-after international executive mentor, coach, trainer and speaker. Deb is well versed in global business operations and helps business leaders and their teams to discover and leverage their strengths, so they can create highly collaborative teams that deliver great results. With a refreshingly direct style, Deb helps leaders and their teams to deliver profitable results. Connect with Deb to learn more about her mentorship and coaching programs to equip you with advanced strategies to elevate your results.