As leaders and those being influenced by them we’ve all had times when either ourselves or another leader has gone off the deep end. It may be for a moment or two a month or two, or more than a decade.
Recognizing the signs of leadership trouble ahead for others as well as ourselves is critical to triaging the situation early and taking the remedy. Here are the top 5 warning signs:
1) There is a character issue. The values once embraced tightly are sacrificed and usually for personal gain, be it glory or financial. In the early stages, there is usually a chance to prevent it from going too far by asking questions in a non-threatening manner. If the leader is changing a core value for good and this is not a good match for you, then it’s time to move onto the right values match quickly.
2) They may hide behind deception. Using deceptive tactics or the ‘oh I didn’t realize ….” is a tactic that a leader who is in trouble may use. Any way you cut it, deception is deception.
3) Decisions are made impulsively. Often times this is an early warning signal of a leader who is in trouble. Rather than make logical decisions, they make impulsive one’s. The impulsive mindset would lend itself to staffing, strategies, tactics, money and more. This is typically the easiest spot to help a leader turn it around, by helping them to see, in a non threatening manner, that their decision is surprising, and not at all in line with their prior decisions that have had a great result.
4) They seem to rule by either a weakness or strength. It may be a weakness of theirs that becomes glaring or a strength of theirs seemingly out of control. As leaders, when we use our strength in balance it distinguishes itself from our weaknesses, if not, they all blend together creating an environment where growth is stunted or suspended completely.
If you’re a leader and you’re giving off one of these warning signs now is the time to turn it around.