Man in suit with whip

March Weekly Leadership Challenges No. 1 – The Hard Task-Master



Man in suit with whip


In my Executive Coaching sessions, I often work with very different leaders in different industries and different sized companies. However, interestingly, they often share similar leadership

Each week in March I’d, therefore, like to share a pattern I’ve spotted recently and ask you, as a leader, whether you share it too.  If so I’m going to set you a challenge for the week ahead to bring it into conscious awareness and take action to improve it.

This week’s leadership challenge?  The Hard Taskmaster. Read on to find out more.

The Hard Task-Master

I work with a lot of highly driven leaders. They push themselves hard and hence push others hard.  They have extremely high expectations. It’s in part why they’ve been so successful to date.  However, paradoxically, it can also be why they struggle to be great leaders.

These are typically the leaders who fail to acknowledge a great piece of work by one of their team members – well they’re just doing their job, aren’t they?

They’re the leaders least likely to stop and celebrate success with their team – we don’t have time, we’ve got the next target to hit, right!?

They’re the leaders best known for their metaphorical red pen – when nothing is good enough and pretty much every piece of work they see gets challenged and changed.

I could easily go on with more examples, but you get the picture.

I know I’m stating the obvious when I say that your people need to feel valued. Yet the behaviour of many leaders I coach and have coached over the years suggests this is easily forgotten in the cut and thrust of working life.

You can never under-estimate the power of a “thank you”, a “well done” or a “congratulations” – especially when it comes from a hard taskmaster!

This is, therefore, my leadership challenge to you for the week ahead:

See how many times you can show gratitude to your team, give them a pat on the back or celebrate a success with them, no matter how small.

I assure you that whilst it costs absolutely nothing, it will pay huge dividends.

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