5 Unrealized Errors that Take Your Leadership Truth OFFLINE! Agreed?

Leadership Challenges

"Going offline in leadership is a reality. But it can be temporary and absolutely curable with enough that you already have within the authentic you - and keep you online longer than forever."

The new virtual reality that we are living and breathing in can challenge leaders in several ways, pushing them out of their alignment with their true selves. But let's not blame this current situation of remote working completely. Misalignment can happen in any environment because the obstacles you are about to learn and reflect on are a part of human and leadership existence. 

It is very easy to slip away from our true or authentic selves to navigate complex situations, we are calling being "offline" here, so much so that unconsciously we adapt to such misaligned habits and behaviors quite deeply without realizing their impact on us and others. We often forget to become the "Authentic Chameleons" in our auto-pilot practices.
But the fact is, that each time life nudges you to stay in your truth, you feel less anxious and more confident to take actions that are courageous and more fulfilling. As always suggested, check your top values first. They could be many - respect, timeliness, inclusiveness, influence, freedom, affection, creativity, openness, learning, sharing, etc. 

Then ask yourself these questions - are you living your truth through these values or not? Are you respecting your truth?

Be honest with yourself; this is not a competition but a pure reflection on your leadership truth, whether you are leading self or leading others. If you agree even slightly, read below. The following 5 are the most common obstacles or errors that keep leaders offline or misaligned with their true leadership:

  1. Entitlement or Leading through Titles: When leaders lead through the power of position and titles, it forms a false sense of belief that they "deserve" to act in any way they want regardless of its impact on others. This often leads to creating unhealthy environments comprising of inequities, oppression, discrimination, manipulation, lack of support, racism, reprisal, and many other harmful elements. ANTIDOTE: Lead with or without title from the power of positive and collaborative influence. Go beyond the false sense of positional power and break the traditional "management-mindset". Titles don't make a leader, a growth mindset and positive actions do.
  2. The Closed-Eye View: Ignoring and shutting down senses and environmental radars that can capture the most significant details for a successful environment comes from a closed-eye view. Of course, in this situation a leader just doesn't fail but chooses to stay uninformed and disinterested in understanding the drives and motivations of people. This could mean, misalignment of tasks and employee skills & competencies, lack of support and resources - all this with high expectations for results. ANTIDOTE: Open those eyes and make an effort to learn more about your people, their drives and motivations, strengths and development areas. Choose formal and informal assessments or take the help of talent development team to help you. Help others be leaders in their own capacities. Acknowledge their skills and competencies. Create better alignment in their assigned work and skill-sets. Support them with resources and coaching. Create a lateral environment of collaborative partnership.
  3. Assumptions and Biases: When leaders engage in practices through their personal lens of biases and assumptions, they often make false judgments and decisions that do not satisfy a collective thriving environment. This could entail assumptions about social identities of people (region, religion, profession, family background, nationality, hobbies, name, physical appearances, education, financial status, etc.) or leaders' narcissistic view of what satisfies their personal agenda. ANTIDOTE: Stop assuming and be cognizant of your own biases and barriers. Be intentional about your communication and actions. Make an effort to understand, where your people are coming from. Not everyone is starting at the same point in life or hold the same position in that continuum - including yourself. Keep a check on your unconscious bias and bring it to consciousness through deliberate reflection, learning and practice. Expand your self-awareness and use the self-knowledge to combat your internal barriers. Read point number one again.
  4. Lack of Acknowledgement and Appreciation: Amid the sense of entitlement or personal fears, some leaders will miss out on acknowledging and appreciating others for their hard work and support. This could be the case with themselves; they can't really feel gratitude even for themselves. Outcomes? Low morale and motivation for all, which means a greater level of employee disengagement. ANTIDOTE: Feeling acknowledged and rewarded in some shape or form is a basic human need. That's no news. Be intentional- acknowledge and appreciate others' efforts more often. Celebrate milestones. Don't be shy. This is a good-vibe practice that has the capacity to alter teams, departments and organizations with excellent productivity and greater commitment.

  5. Being the Ball in the Bowl: This reflects the inconsistency of leadership practices and compromising the true leadership values instead of committing to them under pressure of any kind. This inconsistency can generate a lot of mistrust, employee disengagement and only a short-term survival plan that promises a doomed leadership career. ANTIDOTE: Stick to your true grounds and rather engage in practices that can gain more trust and support from your people. For example - let your people know your purpose, intent and the impact of your actions - lead through context. Additionally, involve others in making decisions when starting new projects, gather ideas - while you instill and communicate your values in every single action you take, especially during complicated and stressful times.  
At the end of the day you've got to go online again, if you are willing to succeed in the most authentic way!

Make an intentional shift in practices and let us know the results. Good luck!

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