Select Page

leaders and esteem

A March 2012 DDI study “Leadership Lessons from the People Who Matter” reports 40% of respondents say their boss has never damaged their self-esteem.

Only 40% with no damage???

Yikes, that means 60% of respondents have had their self-esteem—their sense personal worth and competence—damaged by their boss.

How disturbing.

In a business world where the fast forward button seems perpetually stuck and performance demands are ever-increasing, leaders can get caught in the quicksand of focusing on results, results and more results.

Look around your workplace. Is morale dropping? Turnover increasing? Are people doing just enough to meet minimum requirements? Are there fewer and fewer smiles in the hallways?

If so, perhaps you’ve lost sight of your leadership need to focus on delivering outcomes while also maintaining relationships and engagement.

Take this little assessment to see where you fall—into the 40% of esteem helpers or the 60% of esteem slayers.

Leadership Assessment:  Esteem Slayer or Builder?



Do you talk first about mistakes when giving feedback to your team members?    
Has it been more than three months since you’ve had a one-on-one coaching session with each person on your team?    
Have you been known to publicly ridicule and/or mock the behavior of one or more of your employees?    
Do you demand perfection from those who work for you?    
Do you demand perfection from yourself?    
Do you make all the decisions and tell your people what you want them to do?    
Has it been more than a day since you thanked someone on your team for a job well-done?    
Does everyone on your team know who your favorites are?    
Do you expect your employees to do more and more and more?    
Has it been more than a week since you asked one of your employees for their input and/or suggestions?    
Are you known for second-guessing your employees’ decisions?    
Have you ever stolen an idea from one of your employees and failed to give them credit?    
Do you routinely withhold information from those on your staff?    
Do you frequently interrupt your employees while they are talking?    
Must your employees clear all decisions with you before they act?    
Do you say you want your employees to take initiative yet scold them when they do so?    
Do you believe your employees don’t need to know the reasons for the decisions you make?    
Are you unaware of the long-term career interests of those who report to you?    
Would your employees say you have a personal agenda?    
Do you think mentoring someone on your team isn’t the best use of your valuable time?    
Are you proud of the fact that you are what you are?    
Are you obsessed with bottom line results to the exclusion of nearly everything else?    
Do your employees share personal good news with each other but not with you?    
Do your employees always share bad news with you via email or a voicemail?    
Do you believe that no one on your team is as knowledgeable as you are?    

Count the number of “yes” and “no” responses and total here

20+ Yes answers Your ego has firmly taken center stage to the point where you are guilty of what Ken Blanchard calls edging good out – a toxic environment where others’ self-esteem suffers mightily. Ask yourself if your ego is truly that large, or are you masking some insecurities with super-sized bravado.
13-19 Yes answers Good leaders understand their job is perpetually balancing selfless and selfish acts – and you are tilting heavily to the selfish side. All work gets done by and through people, so your skills of inclusion, delegation and communication need some polishing up.
7-12 Yes answers While your leadership instincts are on target some of the time, you occasionally lapse into thinking your team is a means to an end – one that benefits you. Listen and engage more – leadership is a shared process.
1-6 Yes answers Take a bow! You’ve totally nailed focusing on task achievement while building and maintaining productive relationships with those on your team, building their sense of self-esteem. How you practice confidence and humility is great role modeling for your employees, colleagues and peers.

©Braithwaite Innovation Group


Image credits (before words):  Gratisography