While I am not a political pundit, I am a student of leadership. Political leaders offer us insight into the forces that affect leaders in any organization.
In my research (detailed in DeRailed, Five Lessons Learned from Catastrophic Failures of Leadership), I observed five distinct phases of when a leader derails:
- Lack of Self-awareness.
- Arrogance…and a dismissive attitude.
- Missed warning signals.
- Rationalization. Rationalize is best viewed as “rational lies.
Polls over the last few weeks indicate a growing distrust of Hillary Clinton as voters question whether she has been forthcoming about her private email server and thousands of emails she deleted. Are we watching a real time derailment of Hillary Clinton in her bid for the US presidency? What do you think? Are there other presidential candidates in either major party you think are at risk for derailment? Any candidate who reaches stage 4 should be concerned, as my research indicates that it is often a point of no return.
Regardless of our political persuasion, we should learn from any leader’s challenges. How can we avoid derailment in our own careers?
- Cultivate self-awareness…be intentional in leveraging your strengths and mitigating your vulnerabilities. Leaders are sometimes truth-starved. Be sure you have others in your life who will give you direct feedback.
- Arrogance is the mother of all derailers…Humility is the mother of all safeguards. Be sure to value the contribution of others and be careful to not inflate your own contributions.
- Most leaders who derail have ample warning signs…they just ignore them…stay alert.
- Listen to your self-talk and pay particular attention to working too hard to justify your behavior. Put your beliefs to the test…arrest the false ones.
- Stay on track—make an impact with your life.
© Copyright 2015. Dr. Tim Irwin and Irwin Inc, LLC. All rights reserved.