The [Modified] Golden Rule: He/she who has the gold, makes the rules.
Number three applies to business owners and those with positional power or authority. With mistake #3, these people mistakenly believe they get to ‘make the rules’ regarding leadership. They somehow believe they get to define what leadership is within their sphere of influence. They confuse situational ‘positional power’ with leadership. Big mistake, my friend. Big mistake. Unfortunately, we see it all the time.
The third major mistake: Thinking ‘he/she who has the gold – positional authority – gets to make the rules.’
Positional authority allows you to make the decisions, allocate resources, etc., but that’s not leadership. That’s called running the business [see Mistake #1 article, on ‘running the business’ here]. Leadership is all about developing influence with your people – about transforming the potential within your people into valuable results. And burying your head in your business (spending all your time working in your business rather than leading your people) ignores that fact that you can dramatically increase your business’s performance by engaging your people to do their best.
Why do so many business people make this mistake? Well, honestly, ‘because they can’. They are in a situation where no one stops them.
Oh sure, there are consequences of this misguided approach; like low performance, low morale, high turn-over…in general all sorts of ‘people and performance problems’. But these leaders don’t seem to realize the cause of all these issues. Instead they assign the blame to other things. That’s easier. (Doesn’t solve the issues, but does allow them to ignore their need to change.)
There are true ‘laws of leadership’. And these laws apply if you know them, and believe them, or not. Just like the laws of physics apply – like the law of gravity – if we believe them or not. If you don’t believe in the law of gravity and step off the roof of a building, you’re still going to hit the ground. In the same way, not being aware of, or not believing in, the leadership ‘law of the lid’ (that your leadership ability determines your level of effectiveness) for example, doesn’t mean you don’t experience the consequences of that laws playing out in your life.
So business owners, or those in positions of authority, if you want to improve the performance of your people, and therefore your business, you need to invest time and effort learning the ‘laws of leadership’ that are at play in your business.
Unfortunately, that leads to mistake #4 which I’ll cover next: Providing only basic ‘leadership’ training and calling it ‘done’.
Question: Do you truly understand the laws of leadership that play out within your organization? Or are you, and your company’s results, stuck believing you can make up the rules however you want?
Next Up: The final of the 4 Major Leadership Mistakes that Most Business Owners Make: Providing only basic ‘leadership’ training (often as a one-time event) and calling it ‘done’.