Is Chaotic Leadership really “a thing”?

The headlines are full of judgments against our current Commander-in-Chief as running a chaotic administration, leading by instinct, and other unflattering terms to describe his management style. Mr. Trump’s response is that, aside from everything being “fine”, he likes being unpredictable, thinks conflict is good, and that he “gets a lot of things done”.

But the White House is not the only workplace where chaos reigns supreme. Leaders from every sector of the economy, from corporations to small churches, fall prey to this management style that, no matter who you are, has similar results.

Creative, innovative, bold, and fast-paced are all adjectives that can be applied to the best leaders around. But if these qualities are not tempered by a clear vision, long-term strategy, alignment within the organization and strong, cohesive leadership teams, there’s a pretty good chance that the resulting style can be best described as chaotic.

Here are eight qualities and outcomes of chaotic leadership: 

Chaotic leaders tend to have poor insight and judgment about their communication and management styles and the impact it has on their staff. No one plans to lead by chaos or even wants to. But these leaders see themselves completely differently than how other see them. They tend to be blind to the impact of how they manage and solve problems. What they may think of as a creative and exhilarating work environment may be experienced by staff as unsettling and disconcerting. At its worst, it can be complete pandemonium. Continue reading

Emotions at work: A great servant but a TERRIBLE master

Don't let your emotions rule youScenario: You wind up in the COO’s office for the umpteenth time for “the talk”. You are once again upbraided for your reactiveness at a recent team meeting. You know they’re right, but begin your defense with, “I know I shouldn’t have said that, but he just made me sooo (fill in the blank here)! Worse yet (the deign of every professional) we may even cry.

Emotions – our gut reactions to internal or external stimuli – keep the world, and life interesting. Unemotional bosses usually have unhappy staff who have checked out, having given up on getting a rise of any kind out of their fearless leader. Passionless leaders cease to be leading at all after a while. For many of us, however, our passions regularly, spontaneously spill out in ways that may make our colleagues and employees feel discomfort, confusion and even contempt.

Change your mindset, change your world

Alfred Adler, a neo-Freudian psychotherapist, stated, “I am convinced that a person’s behavior springs from his ideas.” Stoic philosopher Epictetus said, “Men [People] are disturbed not by things, but the view which they take of them”. Continue reading

Why everyone labels you “aggressive”

Toxic worker pic

I enjoy the coaching that accompanies my role as a training facilitator for mid to large-sized organizations. As an outsider I can see behaviors and dysfunctions objectively. As a sensor/perceiver, I notice things like eye twitches and subtle flashes of annoyance as they cross participants’ faces. And because I genuinely enjoy people, even the most offensive, outwardly hostile employee doesn’t offend me. They fascinate me.

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