Developing Self-Serving Leaders


Although I believe that all leaders should be “Servant Leaders”, those who see their role as removing obstacles so their teams and staff members can succeed, it has become all too apparent that many companies are striving to develop “Self-Serving Leaders” instead.

Self-Serving Leaders look for opportunities to make themselves the winners of any situation.  They create environments where others cannot compete with them, and take credit for the work of other team members and staff.  They love to blame others, and the whole idea of accountability is someone else’s responsibility!

The primary way we develop “Self-Serving Leaders” is by role modeling these bad behaviors.  Others see us serving our needs by walking over others to get what we want and since it works, we implement the same behaviors on our teams and staff.  Bodies are piling up along side the road, but no one is focused on the casualties.

The second way I see us developing “Self-Serving Leaders” is our continued avoidance of actually developing supervisors, managers and leaders in basic communication skills.  Oh, it is on everyone’s “To-Do List” but actual implementation comes after every other possible activity. 

I read an article about a CEO that told the Training Director that the way to improve the company was to build managers that could think better, communicate better, and inspire better.  The Training Director launched this all out “Team Building” program, avoiding the whole idea of management and leadership development.  They made the cover of a training magazine this month, and today they announced that the CEO was fired because the company didn’t turn around!  Duh! and who’s fault is that?

The CEO had the right vision, and yet she let the Training Director run amok creating her own empire.  Maybe things would have been different if  The CEO had been a stronger “Servant Leader” and the Training Director had been less of a “Self-Serving Leader!”

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