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Your dark side as a leader

Superman v/s Injustice Superman

Wolverine v/s Old Man Logan

Spiderman v/s Black Symbiote Spiderman

Every superhero has a dark side, a darker version….

And so do we – you, me, all of us

We all have our dark sides

Each one of us value different things in life

Each one of us have our unique strengths, our unique gifts

But are you aware of their dark sides?

When your strengths, your values become too strong, too dominant…

You “unconsciously” cross the tipping point

The key word is unconsciously – you may not be aware of this happening 

Let me give you some examples 

Let’s say you value “hard work” a lot

It has been the reason for your success in life

Beyond a certain point, there is a dark side to hard work…

You may ignore your own selfcare & wellbeing

You may confuse hard work v/s smart work

You will expect everyone around you to work equally hard. As a leader, you will set unrealistic expectations for your teams

You may use hard work as a defense mechanism

Take another example

Let’s say you are highly creative person

You use your creative imagination to solve problems

But beyond a certain point, there is a dark side to that as well…

For one, it creates a problem of plenty – sometimes, you may end up having too many ideas but not enough focus

That can lead to confusion and delay in decision making

You are always searching for something different and unique. This can lead to missing something simple and obvious. Sometimes, following the process is much simpler

You might end up rejecting their ideas because they are not creative enough

Creativity requires time and space. In time-bound situations, you may get challenged and might struggle to make decisions

Now this concept is also applicable at organizational level, when we talk about culture and values

Let’s say your company has a “customer first” culture

Which is obviously great for business and for building customer relationships

But the dark side of a customer-centric culture, when it becomes too strong….

You might end up ignoring your employees

Customer first, employees second

Sometimes, this may create disengagement and dis-satisfaction amongst employees, leading to lower morale, lower productivity and attrition

They may feel “Company does not care about me”

Here’s another interesting example

Lets say you have a “continuous learning” culture in your organization

Again, something which many organizations would like to embody

But the dark side of a continuous learning culture, when it becomes too strong….

Employees are constantly learning, but not necessarily getting the opportunity to apply and practice

Which in turn means that effectiveness of learning is lost overtime and nothing much changes on the ground

It may create an unhealthy competition amongst employees (Who will clock most number of hours in the learning platform?). Almost like a learning race

Sometimes, learning might happen just for the sake of it (I need to complete X hours of training this quarter)

So you see…

There is a dark side of everything

But as I said earlier, this might be happening unconsciously

You as a business leader and as an organization may not be aware of it and its impact

And when you are not aware, there’s nothing much you can do about it 

So now here’s something for you to go back and reflect upon:

Do you know your dark side as a leader?

Do you know the dark side of your company’s culture?

 

PS : Whenever you are ready to push yourself outside your comfort zone and create new possibilities in life, 

you can book a short exploratory call here ( Book Your Call )

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