A corporate career can also feel like a never-ending grind. Endless meetings, frustrating bureaucracy, rigid fiefdoms and silos. Constant travel, overnight flights followed by 8:00 a.m. meetings, and late-night conference calls. High stress, rivers of coffee, and seemingly endless time away from family. Working for a large corporation can be a thrilling ride, but it’s also full of aggressive competition, petty jealousy and skepticism, intense scrutiny from all angles, and myriad obstacles, challenges, and pitfalls.
If you know how to navigate these challenges, they’ll become your strength and fuel your success. But if you don’t, they can destroy your career and cost you everything you’ve worked so hard for. I’ve seen countless senior leaders who were very talented and hard-working, but didn’t know how to navigate. In all cases, they ended up feeling unwanted and unrecognized, had their egos bruised and their reputations battered, and ultimately left the company.
Here are Six habits of leaders who FAIL:
·They often play the ‘I am the boss’ card
·They are quick to say, ‘Do it my way’
·They have visible ‘favorites’ in their team
·They are quick to get into frontal conflicts
·They create silos and fiefdoms within the organization
·They talk out of both sides of their mouths – their actions are not aligned with their words.
Bulldozers Always Fail
Many C-Suite leaders who don’t know any better make a classic and highly avoidable mistake. They leverage their power in an unfortunate way—I call it the display of power.
Others have called it being a bulldozer. These terms refer to when an executive uses his office, title, or mandate to demand that they get their way. Often, this results in the use of bullying, job threats, or intimidation to silence resistance, alternate viewpoints, or any other behavior that is not to their liking. It is a form of head-to-head industrial conflict where the more senior person knows he’s going to prevail solely due to his position above the subordinate.
The reason this is unfortunate is because being a bulldozer doesn’t work in the long term. It may achieve its goal in the short term; but, over time, this tactic doesn’t create loyal team members and subordinates. It alienates them.
Good Leaders never use the bulldozer technique. They know they don’t have to. They understand that the damage it causes is often more detrimental than the benefit.
Vishal Agarwal is the bestselling author of Give to Get. As a Senior Leader, he has navigated corporate life for the past 24 years. He has served as a Top Global Executive for General Electric and as a senior partner at Pricewaterhouse Cooper (PwC). Agarwal has navigated all facets of corporate life—from building teams and delivering value to translating multinational visions into local wins.