How to be a Differentiated Leader for Millennials (Leadership in the Age of the Quick Fix)
How would you answer, “What do great leaders really want?”
Here’s what I said when asked, “I want my people to come to work and have fun, to be on track, to be engaged, confident, creative, collaborative, energized, respectful, and to have integrity. I want them to be focused forward in going out and accomplishing our objectives together to serve our clients.”
Would you agree?
What else would you add?
One of my favorite books on leadership is Edwin H. Friedman’s Failure of Nerve, Leadership in the age of the quick fix. Friedman challenges many longstanding beliefs about what defines good leadership. Well-differentiated leadership may fly in the face of conventional leadership, especially his belief that leaders need to accept sabotage as a sign that they are doing things correctly.
Now I don’t like to hear that – expect and accept sabotage? Ugh!
Yet, Friedman contents, that sabotage is a sign that we’re doing things correctly.
For a quick summary, watch this video discussion on Failure of Nerve.
I find these stages helpful, in diagnosing what might be happening in an organization with poorly differentiated leaders.
These are some of the characteristics of a well-differentiated leader.
I have read Failure of Nerve more than once. Well, more than twice also.
If you are mentoring or coaching an emerging leader, understanding the difference between being a well-differentiated leader vs. a poorly differentiated leader, is important.
When you compare the scenarios above, where do you see yourself?
Perhaps the most important characteristic of a well-differentiated leader is this – they take care of themselves. In so doing, they can take care of others too. Only then can he or she truly understand the meaning of this commandment…“Love your neighbor as you love yourself.”
For previous articles in this series go to: Great Leaders Build Great Next-Gen Leaders, How to be a Listening Leader for Millennials and How to be a Transformational Leader for Millennials.
For the final (summary) article in this series go to: Proven Insights on How to be a Great Leader
Leadership Lesson: Well-differentiated leaders stay on course and stick to their goals.
Leadership Question: As you are mentoring and coaching an emerging leader, how might you be a calming presence in his or her life?