I am borderline obsessed with personal growth and development. I don’t think that’s a bad thing, that’s just my main hobby. I listen to podcasts, read books, watch interviews, and actually meet with and interview people all in the pursuit of growing as a person. Basically, I will always be a lifelong-learner.
I want to grow in six main areas: as a follower of Christ, as a leader, as a husband, as a father, as a pastor, and as a friend. When I read a great book or listen to an amazing podcast, I usually write down a summary of what I learned in a Google Document for future reference. I frequently reference my knowledge base in Google Drive and Evernote (where I store illustrations, quotes, and other ideas) to sharpen my mind and reinforce things I have learned along the way.
I’m going to start sharing some of these things on my blog because I think they could help a lot of people. I’m constantly absorbing information from many different sources that many of my friends may never get to hear or see. So in the interest of sharing, here’s my takeaway from one of the podcasts I heard today.
This comes from the new Craig Groeschel leadership podcast. In his first episode, Pastor Craig shares about three types of leaders that we do not want to be. Unpredictable leaders, secretive leaders, and domineering leaders.
This is easily one of the top five podcast episodes on leadership I have ever heard (and that’s out of hundreds). If you have ever experienced one of these leadership styles, you will instantly recognize the problems associated with them. But this podcast is created for leaders, so the real goal is to identify where these traits may have crept into our own leadership patterns.
Take a look at this summary and don’t miss the really valuable questions at the bottom. Build regular feedback loops into your leadership process and you’ll always be aware of areas to refine and improve.
- Unpredictable Leaders
- Leaders who shift directions frequently based on whatever they happen to be experiencing at that time.
- “Successful people do consistently what normal people do occasionally.”
- Unpredictable leaders produce hesitant followers.
- Solution: Be consistent, resist urges to jump from plan to plan.
- Domineering Leaders
- My way or the highway.
- Domineering leaders produce complying followers.
- We don’t want compliance, we want commitment.
- May experience short term gains but over time, organizations with this type of leader always crumble.
- Domineering leaders create weak teams.
- This gets much harder with large organizations because leaders of large groups can be seen as giving a command when they are simply making a suggestion.
- They may ask a question and have it taken as an order.
- Solution: Ask questions and listen. Ask questions ten times more than you give direction.
- Secretive Leaders
- Keep information from their teams.
- Secretive leaders produce guarded followers.
- “A team is not a group of people who work together, a team is a group of people who trust each other.” - Simon Sinek
- If our people are guarded they will not give us accurate feedback.
- The more people know, the more they will care.
- Next Actions
- Ask your teams these questions:
- How am I unpredictable as a leader?
- What are one or two things I can do to be more predictable?
- How am I domineering?
- What could I do to make sure everyone has a chance to offer their opinions?
- What are three things I could share that would help people feel valued and care more about our mission?
- What do you not know that you want to know?
I should add one more question that I absolutely love and many on my team are familiar with now: “What concerns do you have about your area?” This causes people to think deeply, to think ahead, and to share their opinions and feelings that might otherwise seem unwelcome.
Too often we do not know because we do not ask. I have learned that the difference between good leadership and bad leadership is often simply asking the right questions. Are there any other questions that you think leaders should ask of their teams?