The Disengaged Leader

by | Aug 8, 2023

It’s one thing when you have disengaged employees.

It’s another when you have disengaged LEADERS.

So, what do you do when your leaders are disengaged?

I’ll answer that with another question: Do your leaders really WANT to be leaders?

My experience in business and in the workplace is that we as organizations do people a very great DISSERVICE when the ONLY path for their GROWTH and development seems to be becoming a LEADER of others.

What happens is this:

●       People do a good job.

●       Then, they’re promoted up to lead others doing the same job.

●       The challenge is the skills it takes to be a great leader are not the same skills it takes to do their original job.

●       This creates a significant gap.

●       And it becomes stressful and frustrating for the leader and for those they’re leading.

One of the reasons I’ve seen leadership development programs fail is because there are LEADERS who genuinely DON’T WANT TO BE LEADERS.

There’s nothing wrong with not wanting to be a leader. Some people just love their craft and want to do that work. But, they feel like they have to be a leader in order to grow in their careers and earn more income.

For companies to be more successful in the future, they need to take a different approach.

FIRST. Don’t make assumptions about how people want to grow in their careers. Talk to them. Plan with them. Help them advance in their careers the way they want to advance.

SECOND. Don’t automatically promote people who want to be managers. Educate them on what great leadership looks like first! Make sure they want it for the right reasons.

THIRD. Make sure the leaders inside your organization are modeling great leadership, or the training you give new or prospective leaders won’t be sustainable.

FOURTH. Make opportunities available for career and income growth that aren’t connected to management. It’s up to you as the senior leader in the organization to provide a different track for advancement.

FIFTH. When people are promoted to leadership roles, make sure they have continual support, coaching, and training to continue growing in their role.

Great leadership is essential for top business performance. I’ve seen it time and time again. It’s worth getting it right.

And the people working in your organization will stay motivated and committed for the long haul when they know that they will be given options for growth and advancement in their career.

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