“Insight 13. Greatness is not caused by the absence of weakness. Our data reveal that a large percentage of leaders, approximately 84 percent, do not possess any severe weakness, and yet they are not perceived as strong leaders. They are ‘blah.’ Subordinates do not single out any one weakness as the root cause of the leader being weak. Instead the combination of being in the ‘mid-range’ on a number of dimensions is the pattern of the mediocre manager. In sum, the absence of weaknesses combined with the absence of any pronounced strengths commits you to being no better than average.
Our research show that the self-evaluation of most leaders in this category is highly distorted. They feel like they are good leaders. Possibly because they are not really bad at any one area of leadership, they come to believe that they are good. But rather that trying to convince them that they are bad leaders, we think it far more valuable to help this group see what they can do to become outstanding in several areas, and that when they do that, they will in all likelihood be perceived as highly effective leaders.
Our research indicates that good leaders are, in fact, producing better outcomes than leaders who are bad. Good is better than bad, but neither they themselves nor their leaders appear to recognize the substantial contribution they could make by moving from being merely good to great.”
The leaders I worked for seemed incapable of recognizing the advantages of going from good to great, much of it related to their lack of interest in learning about it, and effort. They had other “priorities” unrelated to effective business practices too numerous to mention, but I will mention one. The business owner who found it easier to “chew” on an employee rather than discover the causes of shipping delays, mishandled products/orders, and lack of effective communication.
Those who are interested in being an Extraordinary Leader need to observe today’s market place, and realize how poorly managers operate. Those who read my blog will not often see leader behavior as I understand it.
One of my favorite examples is the department manager at Sears berating the sales person right in front of me. Sales person response was, “common occurrence”. My response, “you need to find another place to work”. I don’t shop there any longer.
Next: The Extraordinary Leader
Turning Good Managers Into Great Leaders
AN OVERVIEW OF IMPORTANT IDEAS IN THIS BOOK