Putting the big stick away

As I set out to write this post I know it is going to be hard and take a number of versions to get it right.

I have to find a way to get people who don’t usually listen to listen. Otherwise I’m wasting my time providing affirmations for those who already know. To make it worse ‘those who already know’ are the vast majority of my readership.

So that is the down side. The upside- just hitting home with one ‘stick wielder’ will be great progress.

I’ve been lucky to have some great bosses in my time and have seen some great leadership. I have also witnessed bullying, yelling , moody, childlike CEO’s who create only fear and fool themselves that they are liked and doing well.

The results indicate otherwise – high staff turnover( until they find enough terrified and insecure people to work for them), poor company culture, frequent under-delivery, average or below average performance in the companies they manage, limited responsibility, and no obvious successors on the horizon. Worse these CEO’s are stuck in the role because word is out and no-one with proper due diligence would employ them.

    • The message – the Big Stick doesn’t work.
    • You cannot lead by fear
    • You destroy your employees
    • You create a dead end for yourself (there is nowhere else to go)
    • You’re killing the company you have been entrusted with

Ask yourself – where does that fear come from? The answer is, it comes from your own insecurity. Deal with that not your employees.

You’re not a leader, you’re a relic.

Leadership is a privilege. I always approach the role mindful of the fact that others could do it. I always reflect that not just my employers but my employees trust me to do it very well.

Leaders are there to create leaders; people who see the right way for things to be done and begin to develop their own sense of vision, optimism and passion

Leaders have a focus centred on the growth of whatever they touch (not the destruction of others to fuel their own ego)

Be proud of yourself, the lives of others you are influencing and the work you are engaged in.

Grow it all with dexterity and subtlety.

There is no need for fear, or to be feared.

Simply earn respect and be human, everything else will follow.

6 Replies to “Putting the big stick away”

  1. Dear Richard,
    I really love this discussion. You have pointed very valid things. Leaders create envrionment based on fear and insecurity to help themselves not to organisaiton. They are more interested in personal career development than professional growth.I can discuss these things deep. Why do they do that? Actually speaking, these people dont know the meaning of leadership but they think that they know everything about leadership. Actually they want development at any cost and all the cost. But the reality is far from their imagination. Those who believe in command, crash and those who belive in collaborative effort, survive. I agree with you that people should fight with fear? But how? Finding other support, providing and spreading right and timely information and increasing interactions within all levels.

    1. Dear Ajay. all I can say is what a ‘beautiful’ response. Thank you. It precedes the other responses. Just a note i am travelling extensively over the next week so I hope to be able to keep my commitment – but if the timing goes all awry don’t think I have fallen off the earth. Bless. Richard

  2. Richard, you have said it so well, I just want to say thank you for putting words to some of my thoughts, and arming me with a deeper understanding of why I persist to operate the way I do.

    1. Thanks Daniel I am very pleased it provided a nice echo for you. don’t look it as arming you , as much as assuring you. There is a better path and you are on it. Very pleased about your news this week. Keep it up. will be in touch but not until after the 19th. Best. richard

  3. Well said Richard.Great stuff.I couldn’t agree more. There are some big challenges ahead for Kiwis.In April, 2010, “The Management Matters” report was handed into the Ministry of Economic Development in Wellington. The research was conducted by the University of Technology, Sydney.The university surveyed 152 New Zealand manufacturing firms.People management was highlighted as the MAJOR issue. I would love to hear what people think about how and when New Zealand is going to “incite” the revolution required for a step change. In 1950 in GDP per capita terms New Zealand was 6th. In 2007 NZ was 32nd. The current projection out to 2025 shows New Zealand dropping a further 10 places to 42nd. Two places behind Kazakhstan. At this rate of decline Borat’s country of birth will catch up with Australia before NZ. Where are these great leaders? Are they hiding? NZ needs to become a South Pacific Tiger…doesn’t it?

  4. Hey Jim. Thanks for that addition. i am sure you have seen the “stick men” (just thought of that, and the dearth of leaders as well. Where is the courage, or what are we not doing to allow it to surface? (now theres a post to do on the plane)Off tomorrow. Cheers Richard

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