How poor character hampers success

Last week I wrote about the integrity deficit challenging my readers to think about where they stand on the integrity scale. Today, let’s talk more broadly about character.

In the last several months I’ve interacted with three organizational leaders who have what I call character deficit. Like integrity deficit – which focuses on basic issues of trust or lack thereof – character deficit looks at elements of character that are somehow missing and disenfranchises their leadership teams and employees.

I experienced these behaviors with these three leaders:

  • Unwilling to listen to the needs of others and more concerned with making their own pronouncements, which led to low enrollment and dragging out a transformation timeline much further that was productive and costing the organization millions of dollars.
  • Over anxiousness about achieving their own goals and not effectively collaborating with others with whom they had an interdependent relationship, leading to disenfranchised employees and again, elongated timelines.
  • Committing to assist team members then not following through, leading to frustration, stagnation and resignation – literally and on-the-job (on-the-job resignation simply means employees stay on the job, but don’t engage).

In all three cases, these poor behaviors drove lower enrollment of team members and employees to their respective transformations. In all three cases, the common theme is self-importance or selfishness.

Successful leaders of transformational change realize that they don’t have all the answers. They drive enrollment by asking questions and following through. They support their leadership teams needs while providing direction, but not in a dogmatic way. Basically, they are humble, and they are selfless.

Call to action. I challenge you to take some time and truly be introspective about your leadership. A great guide is Patrick Lencioni’s The Ideal Team Player. He promotes three characteristics of team players that every leader will benefit from.

Dedicated to your profitable transformation,

Steve