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  • Writer's pictureRobert Stevenson

Vainglorious


Robert Stevenson Blog - Be a Leader

So, you’re the boss, the head person in charge. Have you ever thought about how you got there? Have you ever considered all the people who helped to push your career along, until you finally made it? Have you ever given any consideration to the support personnel you have on staff who make you look good, make you look efficient, make you look smart, every day? The folks who handle the little, tedious, or sometimes annoying things that need to be handled, so you can concentrate on the big stuff … have you ever thought about them?


None of that matters now, because you’ve made it; everyone answers to you. You are the head “Muckety Muck.” The definition of “Muckety Muck” is a person in a position of power, authority, with great status. The problem with power and authority is that many so-called leaders become self-absorbed, self-admiring, self-centered and self-obsessed and because they are, they end up surrounding themselves with “YES” people.


A great boss has no problem with the following statement from an employee: “My mouth is not a bakery. I don’t sugarcoat anything. If you ask me for my opinion, I’m going to tell you what I think, not what you want to hear.” Smart bosses understand one person who will tell them the truth is worth more than a roomful of ‘Yes Men/Women’. They want the truth and surround themselves with people who have the courage to say it. They don’t need nor want Sugar-Coaters, Brown-Nosers, or Yes Men/Women.


If you want to be important and/or remain important, always remember those who helped you along the way and create an environment that no one fears your wrath for expressing their opinion. Remember, when you weren’t so important, you had some good ideas; were you able to share them? Truly successful (important) leaders, bring out the brilliance in others and recognize them for it.


I came across a word the other day that I have never seen. The word is VAINGLORIOUS. A person who is vainglorious has an attitude that is not very likable. It was used in describing the pompous “Muckety Muck” boss. The base word, vainglory, dates all the way back to the 14th century and means “worthless glory.” That is why I have brought it to your attention. To me, glory needs to be shared. People, employees, key staff members need to feel a part of your achievement, because if they do, they will help to keep you there. If they don’t, it will be hard for you to keep your position.


If you want to get to the top or stay at the top, remember those who helped to get you there. Also, if no one is challenging you or disagreeing with you in a meeting, or suggestions from your staff are few, YOU have created a working environment where fear trumps creativity, innovation, and productivity. Great organizations come from great bosses who appreciate their staff and show it and who also welcome suggestions or disagreements.


Remember, these three critical points for becoming a great leader. Constantly recognize those who help you, surround yourself with people of courage, and allow them to speak freely. No one has all the answers, but a motivated, inspired, and appreciated team can come up with them.


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