When I read this cartoon, it got me to thinking about why some leaders can’t get people to follow them. Their vision may be correct, their direction might even look promising, but for some reason they just can’t seem to build a team to follow their leadership.

I read a blog the other day that seemed to explain it clearly. Sometimes it is the person that no one wants to follow, not the vision. This is what I am referring to as a “Blockheaded Leader”.

There is a statement that I use often; it is “Friendly up the environment”. When it comes to your team, do they enjoy spending time with you? If given a choice (which they already have) would they choose to be in your presence? If choosing to be on your team or another one, which one would they choose?

I don’t think that leaders set out trying to become someone that no one likes, but even leaders with the best intentions can end up being “that” leader.

I have found that there are a couple of root causes that contribute to becoming a blockheaded leader.

One of the main contributors to this condition is the abuse of power. Many times leaders allow the power to go to their head, and then they begin to push their agenda and control those on the team. This abuse of power will cause those on the team to go in another direction, fast.

Another main ingredient of a blockhead leader is idea thievery. Good leaders need to be strong team players. They understand that their best asset is the team itself. This means that the credit for accomplishments goes to the team, not to the leader. When this happens naturally, people will enjoy being on your team. This is not just for accomplishments; it is also for great ideas. If a team member has a great idea, promote them and encourage the creativity.

To sum all of this up, Leadership is about others, it is not about you. If you are interested in power and credit, you might have dictatorship and leadership confused.

This week’s experiment; Does your head resemble a block? Does your team want to follow you? Is your environment friendly? What are some steps that you can take to become more of a leader and less of a dictator?