Blessed are those who for an inspiring leader. Many would be still dreaming of working with an inspiring leader. The irony is that there are not many such inspiring leaders available. So one often lands up in the palm of uninspiring leaders. My empathy goes to those who are in such situation currently. Having experienced such a life, I have given this some thought and felt that I must pen on how to work under an uninspiring leader and yet hold onto your energy system
Life with an uninspiring leader would be like watching a horror movie (Movies last for 2 to 3 hours but living with horror is much more), the effect of which haunts even after the movie. Many reading this blog would now be having images passing through their eyes.
Not everyone is lucky to work under inspiring, energizing, enterprising and value, conscious leaders. Youngsters coming out of colleges are most vulnerable when subjected to such leaders and they end up going through the hard facts of life not often as a choice. Lack of consciousness would turn such talents into another uninspiring leader of the future. The world ends up with extra weight on mother earth if more such leaders are made.
I talked about accidental leadership in one of my earlier blogs (read it on www.binuwick.com) and most of the uninspiring leaders are the product of accidental leadership. The wealth of ancestors, the power of the family, the situational growth of money etc. adorn leadership role in them and they try to squeeze themselves into it and in the struggle of being a misfit, they tend to lead a team with ego and power, leaving talented resources drained out in their lives.
So, if an uninspiring leadership is unavoidable and circumstances hold you to work in such an organization, how do you exist (not live) being motivated? This is a corporate trap and coming out of it is easy if you decide to quit. But, that’s often not a practical solution. Hence the below can help if you happen to be under someone uninspiring.
- Pay a deaf ear — Develop a deaf ear to whatever they say. This doesn’t mean you show it in front of them. But show attentiveness in front of them, but consciously say it to yourself internally that this idiot doesn’t know what the hell is he/she talking about. When one is able to communicate with internal self, strength to withstand nonsense is natural. Believe me, you will be able to see yourself coming out of such uninspiring leader’s room with renewed energy if you practice this self-talk.
- Do not participate in emotions — An uninspiring leader often tends to undermine his/her team, talk down on his/her immediate reports, mistrust his/her team on performance, and put blame on his/her team. This behavior comes from his inability to lead, his/her sense of insecurity and as long as you understand that this is coming out of his/her weakness, you will be strong on your positive thinking, else it is easy to get your energies drained off and slip into the world of negativity.
- Give it back — An uninspiring leader has only one thing in abundance, his/her ego. So if he/she tries to ridicule you in public, give him/her back in one sentence or just be firm and tell him/her that you would like to talk this point outside the meeting and look firmly into his/her eyes. He/she will get the message and if his/her stupid brain crosses the limit, keep calm and be silent. If prompted for any conversations, simply say that you have nothing to comment. Most often such leaders get the message and if it goes beyond limits of tolerance, then close your eyes and hold your calmness and simply say that for want of respect you would like to take this off the meeting. However, do not spare the words in private, give them your feedback on their behavior and be firm. You will see them disciplined for few months.
- Ignore gossips — Uninspiring leaders most often find themselves anchoring onto talking to your colleagues about you. They would do the same when they are with you as well. Beware to participate in these conversations and remember that they do that about you to others as well and it’s always best to keep quiet when such topics are dragged in between work-related discussions. Such leaders criticize their team being gossip mongers knowing little that they themselves are leaders in gossip.
- Love your work — Your quality of work is something that no one can take away or play with. So love your work, not your company nor your boss. Find happiness in doing your best at work and enjoy making every task on your plate, the best art of your hands. The moment you understand that your boss is an uninspiring one and if you are able to self-talk that out of your mind, you will find that your happiness is not in the hands of him/her, but on your own.
- Avoid — As much as possible avoid being with him or her. The less time you spend with such leaders, the better it is. But if your position is such that you have to spend time with them or have to present yourself in front of them, then, just follow the above points.
- Accept ignorance — The moment you accept the ignorance of your uninspiring leader, you will be unaffected by his/her leadership styles and methods, leaving your state of mind happy and joyful. Such leaders become a case study on how not to be a leader when you understand his/her weakness and accept his/her ignorance on leadership tactics.
- Quit — If things are going beyond limits and all your above efforts are in vain, then quit. You can still be happy that you have quit after trying.
This is not a read for those who are led but those who lead as well. Those who lead and if they are uninspiring, they can try and make a conscious effort to change.
You are an uninspiring leader, if you keep complaining about your team, if you do not trust your team, if you are on a fault finding mission all the time, if you are one who boasts about your achievements, if you are not smiling genuinely, if you are one who are avoided by your team, if you are one who your team is afraid to come to, if you are one who is full of sarcasm, if you are one who gets things done by shouting and screaming. Well, that’s just for those who may not be knowing whether they are uninspiring. The fact remains that an uninspiring leader is still a motivator, it is just that they use different tools – fear and greed. Their long term plans are always to cashing in and/or buying physical objects and does not value human beings.
I pity the uninspiring leaders as they secretly believe that their success is a natural result of being smarter and better than everyone else.