Wednesday 27 April 2022

Why Do As I Say Not As I Do is a Terrible Approach to Leadership

As a leader, it is your job to lead by example. You set the tone for the team, and you provide your team with the motivation and encouragement they need to work their very best. Your job is to nurture and protect that team, so that they can do their very best work.


This is something that is understood by very few managers and bosses. Instead, too many people believe that being a leader or a manager makes them infallible – and gives them a kind of supreme authority over their team.


This is why they think it’s okay to utilize a “do as I say, not as I do approach.” 


But to do this, is to fail to understand the intricate psychology of leadership. Someone who works for you does not view you as being a perfect leader. Nor do they believe that they signed away their free will and rights when they agreed to work for your organization.


While you might higher up in the hierarchy, that does not make you a more important person.


And so, when you tell someone to do something while failing to do it yourself, this then causes ripples of dissatisfaction through your team. They will ask why they should bother to do work that their leader can’t seemingly be bothered to do themselves. They will resent you for this, and they will therefore begin to complete their work to a lower standard, with a lower amount of job satisfaction.


Instead of a “what I say goes” approach, which lacks emotional intelligence, a good leader should create a spirit of camaraderie – you’re all in it together!


While aspects of any job will suck, knowing that everyone else – even your manager – is also doing the same thing, can help you to get through it with a smile.


Are there exceptions to this rule? Of course there are, every parent will know that occasionally they have to tell their children that no, they can’t have that glass of wine. And that it’s only okay for Mummy and Daddy to speak to strangers.


This is far LESS common in a workplace setting. But when situations like this do arise, the key is to explain why the situation is different for you on this occasion, and to try and make it up to your team when you can.


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