The Difference Between Lording and Leading

In spite of the countless leadership books, blogs and articles available, there are still an amazingly high number of bad leaders out there, wreaking havoc in the lives of the people they come into contact with.

Some leaders believe their title and the power they wield bestows on them the privileges of lordship or ladyship in their kingdom.  These leaders equate fearful compliance with a united front.  Dissenting opinions are regarded as insurrection and betrayal.

People who lord instead of lead:

  1. Talk badly, and loudly, about people behind their back.
  2. Rely on threats and intimidation to keep people in line.
  3. Surround themselves with people who think the same way they do.
  4. If they can’t find those people, they find people who are more concerned about staying in their good favour than doing what is right.
  5. Blame their serfs for failures and accept accolades for successes.

Leaders on the other hand:

  1. Deal with issues head on.
  2. Rely on kindness and respect to build relationships.
  3. Encourage dissenting opinions.
  4. Look for people who are strong in areas they are weak.
  5. Accept responsibility for failure and share accolades for success.
Some people lord, instead of lead, due to arrogance.  Some lord, instead of lead, to hide insecurity. Whatever the reason, lording is not an effective leadership strategy. Employee engagement suffers, customer service suffers, reputation suffers …. lead, don’t lord.
What do you think? Are there other examples you can share?  I’d love to hear them.

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