Last week’s Leadership Insights looked at the Dictator mindset. This is a common default style for leading when we are under pressure and just need to get things done. For this week’s offering, let’s look at 2 other common leadership default mindsets – Victim and Delayer.
Victim mindset is known to most of us. It is easily triggered – that blow when a client reneges, that critical feedback from a manager, not getting a promotion you felt you deserved, not making your sales goals…
When you’re leading from a Victim mindset, you waste energy complaining and wishing things were different. You spend time catastrophising, building issues up into insurmountable hurdles. And you lack accountability, passing the buck. If things are outside your control, how can anyone blame you for not coming through with the goods? With a Victim mindset, you believe things are too hard, and not fair. Conditions are happening TO you. It feels personal. You are powerless to impact it in any way.
Delayer mindset is where the procrastinators hang out. When acting from a Delayer mindset, the leader puts off actions and decisions. Like driving a car with one foot on the accelerator and the other on the brake, Delayers want to go forward, but they think “Not now, I’m not ready. We can’t do that yet.” Delaying can be a default response to when overwhelm strikes. I see Delayer in people new to management. In not wanting to get anything wrong, and not make a bad decision, people leading with this mindset get stuck in a holding pattern, waiting for (mythical) perfect conditions before taking action.
These 3 default leadership mindsets (Dictator, Victim, Delayer) are not part of your personality. You are not a Victim. You are not a Dictator. You are not a Delayer! They are not who you are. They are mindsets you can default to under pressure.
In different contexts you can exhibit all three mindsets in one working day! Dictator with your team when you believe a deadline is not being met. Delayer when you’re being asked for something outside your remit by a boss, and you don’t know how to respond. And Victim when the head office changes its rules unilaterally in a way that disadvantages you, and you feel you can’t do anything about it.
Having ability to lead with the Leader’s Mindset at every given moment, is the antidote to this. The what and how of Leaders Mindset, I’ll cover next week.
Which one is your most familiar default leading style? How does it show up for you?
Till next week.