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What NOT To Do As a Leader (Hint: Trump And Weinstein)

October 23, 2017

Everywhere we look in the media we are seeing contrast and polarity – we are seeing what NOT to do as a leader via examples such as Trump or Weinstein AND in contrast we can look to admirable leaders such as Angela Merkel and Oprah.

As leaders preparing for the future of work reality it is as valuable to learn what not to do as it is to learn the leadership we want to emulate.

Trump and Weinstein represent the old leadership style pre – 2000’s where intolerance of many things including attitudes of sexism, racism, and more were the norm. In pop culture we can look to shows like Mad Men that gave a glimpse into the workplace of the fifties. It was not uncommon for inappropriate behaviours to occur in the workplace. I remember when I first started in finance I was eighteen years old and right out of high school. I did not go to college or university right away. The very first Christmas party I attended was wild! They taped up the windows with paper so people walking by couldn’t see the bankers partying. Alcohol on premises was the norm as was bawdy and unprofessional behaviour by all.

In today’s reality the main indicator of success as a leader is respect and the ability to inspire trust. Neither Trump nor Weinstein demonstrate responsible leadership approaches. Both use their position of power for self gratification and personal gain – at the expense of others. This style is definitely a ‘me’ first approach to an antiquated form of leadership.

What both Trump and Weinstein are teaching us through their modelled behaviour of what NOT to do are:

  • Not to use position of power to control, manipulate or abuse other human beings
  • Not divert attention away from yourself when found out for doing something wrong
  • Not blame the victims
  • Not make yourself out to be the victim
  • Not behave like an adolescent

How do we as leaders in positions of authority avoid the ‘not to do’s?

  1. Focus on the honour and the responsibility of being a leader who affects many people’s lives
  2. Focus on being a servant leader which is to listen to people, respect their input and discern based on that input
  3. Get help to build your SELF with quiet confidence and high self esteem
  4. See everyone and every situation as an opportunity to learn
  5. Humbly admit when wrong
  6. Ask for help and take action to be better and do better

Recently on Twitter there was a big call for Oprah as President – she has huge support to run for the role in 2020. Angela Merkel is known for her leadership of the European Union – what these two women model is the ‘future of leadership’ and the style of leadership that will be expected by the entire planet as we move toward the future of the planet.

Here’s what Oprah and Angela Merkel model of ‘what to do’ as a leader:

  • Be open, authentic and honest about reality – tell the truth
  • Focus on creative solutions and what can be done rather than fixating on what’s broken
  • Inspire people by being hyper aware of their reality and how you want to work with them to help them to a positive future
  • Be gut wrenchingly honest with yourself – by asking, “whats my motive here?”, what’s my vision?”, “what’s best for the country, and the world?”
  • Admit when wrong and make every effort to do the right thing to make it right

The polarity we are seeing globally between old and new right now is serving a purpose – in order to move forward in big leaps history has shown that there are points of devolving or backsliding. That’s what I believe is happening right now – we are being shown our options. We can either devolve along with those who are connected to the ‘old’ or we can choose to ‘evolve’ in order to make a massive leap to the ‘new’. Which do you choose?


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