10 + 1 Ways Team Leaders Fall Out Of Favour With Their Team

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Trust is the foundation of leadership and once it is lost, it is very difficult to regain. Many times, team leaders wonder why performance in their team has taken a downturn, some may realize where they may have gotten it all wrong while some continually find it a herculean task figuring out. Loss of favour with team have ruined campaigns, halted projects and strained useful relationships. One of the worst things therefore that can happen to leaders is to lose the favour or goodwill of the people they are trying to lead, they can never achieve any goal in such instance. It thus mean that being in the bad book of a team strips the leader of his leadership, this is because his primary task is to mobilize and coordinate people to achieve a common goal and being out of favour would never make him achieve that since the people would never agree to cooperate. It is necessary to know some of the things that put most leaders in this unfortunate position and how to avoid them.

i. Haphazard mode of work: There are times when the leader may be overwhelmed with workload and activities. This situation often makes leaders work in a sloppy, disorganized manner. He forgets the essential principles of leadership he is meant to work by in the process and begins to err. The leader is then perceived to be apathetic towards work, team members as a result begin to lose motivation and exhibit similar traits; in the long run, they lose faith in the leader. To avoid this, leaders should exhibit confidence in the capability of their team by delegating tasks, this is also a morale booster for team members. Leaders should also slow down, have adequate rest and avoid stress.

ii. Virtual leadership: Team members expect that their leader would roll up his sleeves, get his hands dirty and hit the ground running first. Leadership by example is a popular, old and basic principle on how to lead. Emails and the like are often misconstrued; some members may get confused and respond in a corresponding manner, it is distant and gives the supposed leader an image of an impersonal ‘big boss’ who is chewing gum and sitting on a rocking chair issuing commands. When team members can see you, connect with you, understand you by asking questions and read your body language, you appear as a leader who knows in onions and that increases their confidence in you. When leaders cannot have a real conversation with their team, they lose stronghold in the front-line. A leader leads from the front, a boss pushes from the back, that is, ‘the background’. To correct this, use virtual communication sparingly, why not simply use it to call a proper physical meeting and set things out straight.

iii. The runaway leader: There would be times when meetings and external engagements seem to coming up endlessly, leaders are tempted to stay-off their primary place of assignment. The office of a leader creates work for him by default. Leaders who employ an ‘open door’ policy are most susceptible to this temptation of being absent. Some team members may understand the busy schedule of their leader; however, if it becomes perpetual, the leader would be perceived as absent and distracted rather than hardworking and productive. It shows that the leader is uninterested in his team and his work and this would definitely bring about unhealthy relationship and resentment. This is even worse if the leader is the type who is reserved, unfriendly or inattentive. To avoid this gruesome situation, let your team members know your schedule, communicate with them often and delegate less important assignments and engagements and sometimes get team members involved in what you are doing.

iv. Wrong persuasion: In the quest to gain general support or likeness, leaders are often tempted to say or do things they feel the people want to hear or want done, even if it is at their own personal detriment. This may create unnecessary faction in the team from those who want things done in the right or customary manner. The leader may also be perceived as weak by this set of people and this can spread within the team over time thereby damaging the credibility and integrity of the leader. Team leaders should therefore be open and honest and always show integrity. Be firm, don’t say what you don’t mean and don’t mean what you didn’t say.

v. Lack of attentiveness: Many team leaders cannot listen to their team members, how much more take to correction or accept contributions. Leaders lose favour when they become the sole decision-maker. Sometimes, leaders believe they cannot learn anything from their team members or that things cannot be done properly except by them. When a leader is this way, he would be perceived as difficult-to-please or arrogant and this is a shortcut to loss of motivation and resentment in the team. To avoid this, learn to know when to be quiet, give team members some leverage for expression sometimes, avoid being the only voice.

vi. Downplaying other people’s contributions: Leaders are visioneers and thus have the best idea of what they want to achieve and more often have the greatest passion to achieve it. This may make them oblivious to the contributions of others in the team or make them perceive some contributions as insignificant. Leaders should avoid this by being aware and by giving due credits to each contributing member. Remember, every little helps.

vii. Lack of courage: Leaders are risk-takers. If a leader cannot take bold steps, the followers would become overwhelmed or discouraged or begin to seek a stronger leader figure. To avoid this, always inspire your team members and be strong enough to take bold steps, even if you fail, you are not preternatural, quickly gain composure and move forward with confidence, leaders don’t give up.

viii. Character flaws: Like I earlier said, trust is the foundation of leadership, leadership is integrity. The character of a leader is fragile, volatile and is susceptible to easy scrutiny. A leader is judged by the content of his character and his moral values. Integrity and morality are the biggest assets of a leader and a leader with these attributes will always be in favour with his team. To be a person of character, do good things, keep to your promises and be self-disciplined.

ix. Favouritism: When a leader begins to show that he prefers some people or their inputs over others, sects would begin to arise within the team or some people would become apathetic. This is avoidable if the leader treats everyone equally and corrects everyone with love and camaraderie instead of taking sides or pardoning some member’s mistakes.

x. Taking all the glory: Nothing hurts individuals personally that when their leader ignores their contributions and takes all the glory for all their effort. Leaders often give instructions while followers do the background work. Taking all the glory is the beginning of the end for any leader who does it. If every member of the team is hurt, then there’s no longer real leadership. Avoid this by attributing successes to the contributions of all team members; take extra step by rewarding them in any way, no matter how little.

xi. Being arrogant: Nothing ‘kills’ a leader while still breathing than pride. This is the fastest route to losing favour. If everything is all about you because you are the leader, you will either face massive recalcitrance or heavy resentment from your team. To avoid this, lead with humility and gentleness, inspire others with your advantages.

In conclusion, no leader wants to lose support. Falling out of favour with team members is a very bad thing that can happen to any leader but it can be avoided by treading softly and with wisdom. At the end of the day, the power is in the hands of the people. Leadership is service and servant-hood.

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OPINION: Stealing Is Really Not Corruption

President Goodluck Jonathan has been heavily criticized for his tolerance for corruption and massive stealing in ‘high places’. In a chat with the media a couple of months ago, he stated clearly “stealing is not corruption”, this was an attempt to quote Justice Dahiru Musdapher who said most cases being prosecuted by anti-graft agencies are common cases of stealing and not corruption and should be handled by the police at the lower courts. Mr. President seemed to have misunderstood the statement; however, he may be saved by being technically correct, but next time Sir, if you cannot copy accurately then don’t paste. Recently, President Jonathan also made it clear in his first campaign rally that he has perpetually tackled corruption by tightening organizational systems but is not interested in displaying culprits on national TV. I am not a fan of President Jonathan’s style of governance, he is a nice man as a person, it is his policies I have issues with. The issue of whether stealing is corruption or not is a mere play of semantics, it seems wrong prima facie but when considered objectively, they are two different contexts. First of all, what is stealing? To steal is a deliberate act of taking something without permission or legal right and without the mens rea (intention) to return it. People who work for agencies who take government funds are stealing but this act is being done because of corruption in the system; that is the difference. When there are leakages in an organization or where there is no close monitoring, auditing etc then such organization is corrupt. To make it more lucid, if a person picks your laptop without your permission for instance, then he has stolen it but when a virus gets into your computer’s system and makes it less efficient (drains your battery, destroys your documents etc) then you say your computer has been corrupted. Public institutions in Nigeria are truly and equally less efficient today because of similar corruption. Therefore, corruption is a systematic problem and not a corporeal one and it is much wider in context than stealing just as Justice Musdapher insinuated. Anyone can steal but corruption is an institutional problem, stealing is a financial crime as a result of a corrupt system. A person cannot just steal in UK for instance because the system in place would either block them or catch them, their system is not corrupt. President Jonathan has proven his assertion by making the revamp of the agricultural sector a prototype. Prior to this time, fertilizers meant for local farmers were being stolen by middlemen for personal use and being sold at higher prices but the federal government successfully curbed this by improving the system, the e-wallet was created first by creating a farmers database, establishing a distribution system by putting farmers first in groups and cutting-off middlemen thereby allowing farmers to get fertilizers directly and on time, this improvement of the system in turn saved the country 776 Billion Naira in one year. People could no longer steal because the agricultural system was no longer corrupt, the virus were the middlemen and they were removed. To make stealing impossible, tackle the corruption in the system. Anti-graft agencies are meant to be the antivirus of the Nigerian system but when the President corrupts the anti-graft agencies by making them witch-hunting tools then who will cure the curer? This is the challenge befalling Nigeria at the moment and the responsibility lies in the hands of the President, that is why I don’t support his government because he has institutionalized corruption and has not extended anti-corruption efforts to other important sectors. As a matter of fact, Nigerians owe the development of the agricultural sector mainly to the Minister, Dr. Akinwunmi Adesina from Ogun State for his commitment, innovativeness and insight. Stealing in the Nigerian system can be tackled if the President is committed to it, unfortunately he is not, I don’t know why Alamieyesigha was pardoned and what the likes of Diezani Allison-Madueke and Chinedu Nebo are still doing in office. Curbing corruption is all about removing questionable people and convicting them, putting the right people in the right places, developing ideas, improving technology, making good laws and changing the mode of work by proper restructuring; it is that simple. Mr. President, I hope this helps.

***This is an opinion of which the bearer is entitled to and must not be judged, any other legal person is equally entitled to hold one in accordance to the fundamental right of freedom of expression.

OPINION: Eight (8) Real Reasons Why Nigeria Elections 2015 Was Postponed

The Economist described President Jonathan a failed president. Now, what do you call a country being led by a failed leader? A failed state it is.

As a former political strategist, the postponement of the election by 6 weeks suggests Eight (8) things the ruling party is up to:

i. Need of extra time to perfect their rigging tactics (because they are so jittery and the military has not been totally bought-over).

ii. To allow them time to elapse their remaining campaign tools of calumny.

iii. To discourage people from coming out to vote going by the principle of “failed expectation kills interest”.

iv. To put President Jonathan’s misdeeds further into oblivion in the minds of the electorate going by the popular ‘Decay Theory’ (GEJ will probably begin to do a few things right within the next 6 weeks).

v. To make election petition tribunals practically impossible as it requires 3 months to make and see through a case. It was this same government that changed the rules to this. Going by the new date, practically 1 month is left.

vi. Ample time to fast-track their court proceedings against the main opposition party candidate, General Muhammadu Buhari.

vii. To make sure APC’s campaign lose momentum as they now have much less funds available especially to re-tour the nation.

viii. To dissociate enthusiasts and swing voters from the FeBuhari syndrome currently working successfully in the sub-conscious of the populace by making sure the election takes place in March, if not, it could have been in the next 2-3 weeks which is more than enough time to perfect any election preparation imperfections. What magic will they do in 6 weeks on the insecurity problem they could not fix in 6 years. Wasn’t there insecurity all along while they were busy planning election last week or even last month, why now when its 1 week to election that they suddenly knew the people are not safe?

INEC’s hands were twisted, they were ready for the polls, it is the PDP that are unprepared for the elections, these security agents earlier said they were ready for the polls. If security was the real issue, the AU Joint Military Force offered to help fight Boko Haram is enough to guarantee peace in the North-East. If INEC didn’t give in, Jega may be sacked and the military being funded by the PDP-led federal government may sabotage the distribution and movement of electoral materials, cause chaos at the polling stations and refuse to protect INEC staffs. INEC had no choice but to give in. And if the Military refused to play to PDP’s cards, the federal government would stop funding them and make them incapacitated.

I hope this gives Eight (8) more reasons why the failed President and the entire PDP government must not come back to power. Nevertheless, Nigerians in Nigeria must not be discouraged. The people must take a stance when its 6 weeks.

***This is an opinion of which the bearer is entitled to and must not be judged, any other legal person is equally entitled to hold one in accordance to the fundamental right of freedom of expression.