The Leader’s Greatest Vulnerabilities – Part 3

A leader can’t afford to be severed from the people he or she leads. Leaders must stay connected with their teams, not only so that they can guide their team in the desired direction, but also because they need to keep in tune with their team members’ reality. Leaders must remain empathetic to their team members.

Effective leadership requires that leaders have a clear understanding of the challenges their team faces as well as the subtleties of team members’ work. Being disconnected from their team is a vulnerability leaders must avoid.

As I discussed in part 1 and part 2 of this series, disconnected leaders make decisions that affect their team, with little to no regards to the impacts of those decisions on their team. It always creates problems. Ultimately, this undermines a leader’s effectiveness.

Another effect of leaders’ lack of empathy for their team is that they can’t defend the interests of their team adequately. In fact, one of the leaders’ duties is to represent their team in various ways (e.g., at meetings).

In order to do this well, leaders need a deep enough understanding of their team members’ reality; they must be in a position assess the impacts of projects, decisions, and topics on their team; they must be able to share insights on their team that may influence plans and strategies; they must be equipped to voice their team’s concerns and constraints in a compelling way.
So much of leaders effectiveness rest on their connection with their team. I spent a few posts on this, and I could spend more.

It’s so easy for leaders to get taken by all the tasks and activities that vie for their attention and become disconnected from their team—and not even realize that this is happening. Progressively, they drift further and further away from the people they lead. And, like someone who left their native country for many years and forgets the subtle cultural dynamics of their region, these leaders begin to lose touch with their team’s reality.

As a leader, no matter how high you ascend in your organization, strive to stay connected with the people on the ground (and everyone in between). It will strengthen your leadership.

About The Author

Vladimir Elie

I help people learn and apply success principles and strategies so that they can get the results they want in life.