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Your Business is Failing: You Confuse Leadership With Power

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We all want to think of ourselves as strong leaders, but do you really know if you’re leading or just power-hungry? There is a lot of talk about what makes a good leader. I write about it multiple times, including in my article Three Key Factors of Leadership. But, what you don’t read a lot about is the fine line between a driven, goal-oriented leader, and a power-hungry, attention-stealing, authoritarian dictator.  Unfortunately, if we are not careful, it is very easy to fall into the latter category. However unintentional, our fall and the effects can be devastating to those around us. That is why I believe that it is very important to be aware of the differences and constantly check our own motivations.

There are Five Key Attitude Differences Between a Leader and a Power Mongrel

The Attitude of a Leader

  1. They seek to encourage others
  2. They seek to empower others
  3. They seek to listen wise counsel
  4. They seek to benefit those they lead
  5. They seek out the right solution, not the easiest

The Attitude of a Power Mongrel

  1. They discourage others
  2. They empower themselves
  3. They are quick to dismiss counsel
  4. They benefit themselves at the expense of those the lead
  5. The take the easiest solution and believe that it is right

There are Five Expectation Differences Between a Leader and a Power Mongrel

Expectations of a Leader

  1. They expect people to do their best
  2. They expect people to learn from mistakes
  3. They expect people to work hard
  4. They expect people to question them
  5. They expect people want to succeed

Expectations of a Power Mongrel

  1. They demand that people do it their way
  2. They give no room for error
  3. They expect people will never work hard enough
  4. They expect people to follow and never question
  5. They expect people will slack off if not controlled

Lastly, There are Five Outcome Differences Between a Leader and a Power Mongrel

The Outcomes of a Leader

  1. People will think and dream big
  2. People will take risk to achieve great things
  3. People will give their all
  4. People will respect and follow you
  5. People will be happy, effective, and efficient

The Outcomes of a Power Mongrel

  1. People will not think or dream
  2. People will do whatever it takes to maintain a status quo and not rock the boat
  3. People will give only enough to stay off the radar (good or bad)
  4. People will fear you
  5. People will be stressed, overworked, and overwhelmed

Use the above guide to check yourself often and ask yourself the following:

  • Are you leading and encouraging your team to excel or are you dictating the one and only way things should be?
  • Do you see your team as resources to invest in or as tools to be used?
  • Is your team eager to offer new ideas or do they try their best to blend into the background?
  • When presented with ideas that differ from your own, do you weigh the advice or belittle it?
  • Perhaps most importantly, when people are talking, are you listening?
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Mark Zarr

Mark Zarr is a writer, graphic designer, and a marketing and communications consultant who works with businesses, churches, and non-profits to improve their branding, marketing, and communication strategies. Utilizing his 15 plus years of business management, marketing, and design experience he helps organizations of all sizes grow and achieve amazing results by standing out from the crowd through great design. He has an MBA from Liberty University and is an Adjunct Professor of Marketing and Business for Boise State University and Pueblo Community College. He currently lives in Colorado with his wife, Rachel, and their two children.

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