Dominant leaders can be defined as a clear line of authority that gives a leader the power of delegate. This type of personality usually claims the power to control subordinates. They usually claim authority in the decision-making process of the organization they lead. Some believe that this is the most common form of leadership in most organizations, charity groups, volunteer teams, businesses, and congregations.
The sad truth is that dominant leaders kill teamwork!
Why is this statement true?
Dominant Leaders Ignore the Skills of Others
Have you ever been park of a group that is dominated by one or two people? This type of experience can be frustrating for anyone who has a thought or idea but realizes that their opinion is going to be ignored.
When leaders focus only on their ideas, they are ignoring the skills and talents of others.
John Bryan once said, “You have to be willing sometimes to listen to some remarkable bad opinions. Because if you say to someone, ‘That’s the silliest thing I’ve ever heard; get on out of here!’—then you’ll never get anything out of that person again, and you might as well have a puppet on a string or a robot.”
Dominant Leaders Refuse to Listen
One of the major goals of any great leader is to listen.
Larry Barke said, “Effective listeners remember that “words have no meaning – people have meaning.” The assignment of meaning to a term is an internal process; meaning comes from inside us. And although our experiences, knowledge and attitudes differ, we often misinterpret each other’s messages while under the illusion that a common understanding has been achieved.”
A leader without an opened ear is not leading at all. Listening is the key to true leadership. Here are some great quotes on giving those we lead a willing ear:
“Listening, not imitation, may be the sincerest form of flattery.” — Dr. Joyce Brothers
“Wisdom is the reward for a lifetime of listening … when you’d have preferred to talk.”— D.J. Kaufman
“The best time to hold your tongue is the time you feel you must say something or bust.” — Josh Billing
‘There is no such thing as a worthless conversation, provided you know what to listen for. And questions are the breath of life for a conversation.” — James Nathan Miller
“You cannot truly listen to anyone and do anything else at the same time.” — M. Scott Peck
“It is the province of knowledge to speak. And it is the privilege of wisdom to listen.” – Oliver Wendell Holmes
“There’s a big difference between showing interest and really taking interest.” — Michael P. Nichols, The Lost Art of Listening
“Listening looks easy, but it’s not simple. Every head is a world.” — Cuban Proverb
“Man’s inability to communicate is a result of his failure to listen effectively.” — Carl Rogers
“Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak; courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen.” — Winston Churchill
“Big egos have little ears.” — Robert Schuller
“It is the province of knowledge to speak And it is the privilege of wisdom to listen.” — Oliver Wendell Holmes
“The greatest compliment that was ever paid me was when one asked me what I thought, and attended to my answer.” — Henry David Thoreau
“Many attempts to communicate are nullified by saying too much.” — Robert Greenleaf
“If speaking is silver, then listening is gold.” — Turkish Proverb
“To listen fully means to pay close attention to what is being said beneath the words. You listen not only to the ‘music,’ but to the essence of the person speaking. You listen not only for what someone knows, but for what he or she is. Ears operate at the speed of sound, which is far slower than the speed of light the eyes take in. Generative listening is the art of developing deeper silences in yourself, so you can slow our mind’s hearing to your ears’ natural speed, and hear beneath the words to their meaning.” — Peter Senge
“To be listened to is, generally speaking, a nearly unique experience for most people. It is enormously stimulating. It is small wonder that people who have been demanding all their lives to be heard so often fall speechless when confronted with one who gravely agrees to lend an ear. Man clamors for the freedom to express himself and for knowing that he counts. But once offered these conditions, he becomes frightened.” — Robert C. Murphy
“A good listener is not only popular everywhere, but after a while he gets to know something.” — Wilson Mizner
Dominant Leaders Are Not Humble Leaders
Humility can be a powerful force for those who are trying to influence others. However, most dominant leaders are not humble leaders.
Jonathan Edwards had this to say about being humble, “Some persons are always ready to level those above them down to themselves, while they are never willing to level those below them up to their own position. But he that is under the influence of true humility will avoid both these extremes. On the one hand, he will be willing that all should rise just so far as their diligence and worth of character entitle them to; and on the other hand, he will be willing that his superiors should be known and acknowledged in their place, and have rendered to them all the honors that are their due.”
Those willing to be humble can be positive leaders.
According to William Temple, “Humility does not mean thinking less of yourself than of other people, nor does it mean having a low opinion of your own gifts. It means freedom from thinking about yourself at all.”
One fact is for sure; it is the truly humble who find security. Security in self will help any leader to become a stronger influence.
What do you think about these three statements about how dominant leaders kill teamwork?
- Dominant Leaders Ignore the Skills of Others
- Dominant Leaders Refuse to Listen
- Dominant Leaders Are Not Humble Leaders