The weather here in the South can be a little confusing. Ok – a LOT confusing! A few weeks ago we started out with 17 degree temperatures and ice covering the roadways – leaving our city virtually paralyzed. By the end of the week, it was 71 degrees and everyone was out in shorts and flip flops! This is definitely not one of those regions where you can store your off-season clothes, because you never know when you’re going to need them.
Having an unpredictable leader is just as frustrating as unpredictable weather. This is the place where I should start telling you about a leader I had once who was unpredictable, and how I dealt with them. But I haven’t really experienced that from a leader.
I’ve been the unpredictable leader.
It’s not something I am proud of, for sure. It’s something that I still struggle with at times. But I refuse to stay stuck. No excuses.
What are the signs of an unpredictable leader?
- When you approach them with a problem, you never know if they are going to help you find a solution, or be angry that there is a problem.
- When you need a break, you don’t know if taking one will push your leader over the edge.
- When you have a win to celebrate, you aren’t sure if you should invite your leader to celebrate with you.
- When you tap them on the shoulder and need a minute of their time, sometimes they hug you and other times they push you away.
- When you see them, sometimes they say hello, and other times they ignore you.
What does being an unpredictable leader boil down to?
When I am focused on my own feelings, thoughts, priorities, and agenda, I don’t have room to focus on those I am leading. I have chosen – intentionally or unintentionally – to put my needs and wants in front of anyone else’s.
So how do I stop? How do I become a predictable leader?
You can become a predictable leader when you consciously choose to put others before yourself.
- I can choose to respond instead of react.
- I remember that my face shows my emotions, so I am mindful of that while not becoming a robot, either.
- I take more blame than I deserve and less credit than I deserve.
- I remember that what I say matters.
- I make the effort to greet everyone pleasantly when I see them.
I think a key to becoming a predictable leader is accountability. Be humble and ask your team to help you see when you are leaning toward unpredictable again.
And then choose to be better.
Are you a predictable leader, or an unpredictable leader?