What Behavioral Patterns Do Successful Leaders Avoid?

If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together (African Proverb)

ALL leaders want to focus upon POSITIVITY, including positive affirmations and positive behavior in both our personal lives and careers, but also in our day-to-day interactions with people and circumstances that DO affect the behavior(s) of those around us. We do know that positivity creates more positivity, and that negative behavior and thinking is poison not only for our bodies, but also for our souls. Despite the fact that we should ALWAYS focus upon positive, meaningful communication, leaders in all possible areas of life and in every industry do need to recognize the negative patterns both in their personal leadership style, but also the possible negative aspects and characteristics in people around them (you).

As a leader, you learn far more from negative leadership than from positive leadership. You learn how not to do it. Instead, you learn HOW TO DO IT. (Norman Schwarzkopf)

On your personal (and professional) leadership path, you will face all kinds of behavior. Most importantly, you have to learn how to balance your personal behavior, stay calm and objective no matter how demanding the situation is. Balance is key to everything, including the capability of stepping above the problem(s), and remembering that we all in fact, deep within ourselves, are humane, no matter how thick-skinned and hard on the surface. As a successful leader, please remember to retain your integrity and use soft communication and negotiation skills when in complex, demanding leadership situations, and while “penetrating” under the skin of your counterpart, i.e. the individual you are facing. Great leaders always respect ALL people, regardless of the situation, and regardless of the background and actions that another individual has taken previously. Great leaders always seek to listen, and to understand the deeper meaning behind the behavior of individuals/groups.

Being positive in a negative situation is not naïve. It is called leadership. (Ralph Marston)

Any emotionally intelligent, self-confident leader, should avoid a number of behavioral patterns, including:

1. Successful leaders avoid taking themselves too seriously, or thinking their leadership is irreplaceable. 

Leadership, and a leadership position, should always be taken seriously – do not misunderstand the message being conveyed here. Nevertheless, serious leaders do lead because it is their calling, and because it makes fun and challenges them to be a positive role model, and a source of inspiration for others. As soon as a leader thinks of themselves as something superior to the people they lead, it is time to have a long look in the mirror and to question the purpose of their leadership. This is also true if a leader feels that he/she is irreplaceable, i.e. does not understand the fact that every individual with certain characteristics can be developed into a great leader.

2. Successful leaders avoid judging people around them and being full of prejudice 

All great leaders have learned that prejudice and judging behavior only leads to misunderstandings and increasingly poor communication, and behavior. No matter how difficult the circumstances, great leaders always seek to remain objective and humane. In addition, they do have the capability of putting things into perspective, and seeing everything from the other person’s point of view.

3. Successful leaders refrain from gossiping, neglecting people around them and from any other improper communication. 

As a leader, no one of us can afford either to gossip, or neglect the people around us. If we do, it is time for some serious self-reflection. Especially if you are running your own company, and leading people – but of course, in any organization or business. Successful leaders always make sure to have integrity and CARE about their employees/people in the organization.

4. Successful leaders never ask their people/employees to do things they would not be capable of handling themselves.

Leaders should always be capable of demonstrating in practice their demands upon their employees/people, and capable of serving as an example and a role model. Leaders should always walk the talk, and seek to understand the circumstance and field of business/industry they operate in/lead, before placing any excessive demands upon the shoulders of their people. Leaders MUST seek the truth, and also remain reasonable in their demands – based upon experience, knowledge, understanding, and wisdom.

5.  Successful Leaders Should Avoid Behavioral Patterns that do Harm either themselves, or People Around them. 

There are countless negative behaviors and patterns that leaders have the risk of falling into. Make sure not to fall into these leadership traps personally. These traps include:

– Lack of experience => not necessarily always a problem since a humble leader who is willing to learn from his/her employees/people is open to development in all circumstances.

– Lack of dedication and interest => If you have a lack of these in your daily leadership activities, please ask yourself why this is the case, and try to analyze the reasons behind your behavior and feelings. We all face challenges and difficulties in both professional and private life, and lack of motivation is something that every leader should take seriously. If a leader lacks motivation, and is uninspired, it will most definitely affect the whole team, and the complete organization.








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