Quit Using Your Personality as an Excuse for Behaving Badly by Randy Conley at Leading With Trust on 21 September 2014.

Every leader is different; every leader has their own personality.  Some leaders are comfortable in some areas, others could find the same situation very uncomfortable.  Having said that, the author states that there’s no excuse for using your personality as a leadership “crutch” across the following dimensions:

  • Shirking job responsibilities (if you’re responsible for it, do it!)
  • Being rude to people (you can be polite and respectful, even during times of conflict)
  • Not giving feedback when feedback is due (how can your team know what they are doing right or how they can improve their performance?)
  • Avoiding or inciting conflict (conflict is natural; leaders know how to help people grow from conflict)
  • Blaming others (own your choices!)

I commented on the blog with the following:

Hi Randy,

Great article – I really like the section about blaming others. As a leader, my team knows that credit goes to the entire team, but the blame comes to me – I bear ultimate responsibility. Even if I didn’t physically do the wrong action, could I have prevented it somehow. Could I have created an environment where that mistake couldn’t happen? Could I have improved the training? Could I have found someone to help the person?Could have I assigned the task to someone else? You get the point. By accepting responsibility, my mindset goes from negative (blame) to positive (problem solving).

Finally, I would propose another area – not developing your followers, especially if you’re an introvert. Some might say that this is a subset of shirking your responsibilities (you are, after all, responsible to help your team grow), but I personally feel that this is important enough to merit its own category. You need to help each member of your team to see and ultimately achieve their potential, even if they don’t believe in themselves (yet). You may feel somewhat uncomfortable at first, but you will rapidly overcome this obstacle when you see the look of pride and accomplishment on peoples faces.



Here’s the reply:

Excellent points Chris. I have the same philosophy as you….success goes to the team, and I’m responsible when something goes wrong. That attitude creates a tremendous sense of trust between leader and team members.

Thanks for adding your insights,


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