Friday, November 25, 2020

The Traits of Slow Leaders

The difference between a Slow Leader and a traditional leader isn't what either believes. It's what they do that provides the contrast.

The Traditional Leader: Will be found either behind, driving people onward, or ahead, calling to them to catch up.
The Slow Leader: Will be found walking alongside, offering encouragement, support and teaching.

The Traditional Leader: Is always in charge. Runs a "tight ship." Feels responsible for everything and personally takes all key decisions, so is constantly overworked and harassed.
The Slow Leader: Stays in overall control, but delegates freely. Shares decisions and has time to coach and develop people to handle more responsibility themselves, further reducing pressure on the leader.

The Traditional Leader: Focuses on increasing productivity and lowering cost. Demands people do more with less.
The Slow Leader: Focuses on increasing innovation and imaginative use of resources. Helps people learn to do the most with everything they have.

The Traditional Leader: Leads by alternating between offering the carrot and brandishing the stick.
The Slow Leader: Leads by example, coaching and focused attention. Rarely, if ever, needs a stick. People mostly bring their own carrots.

The Traditional Leader: Wants everything done by yesterday — preferably sooner. All tasks are urgent.
The Slow Leader: Sets — and clearly explains — priorities everyone can understand. The few urgent tasks get done first and the rest follow in due time.

The Traditional Leader: Carefully maintains her distance to emphasize her authority.
The Slow Leader: Carefully maintains her involvement to show she cares.

The Traditional Leader: Acts as judge and jury, pointing out flaws and handing out punishments.
The Slow Leader: Acts as advocate and teacher, helping people recognize their difficulties and learn how to overcome them.

The Traditional Leader: Focuses on current costs and short-term results. Takes a tactical viewpoint.
The Slow Leader: Focuses on long-term value and untapped potential. Takes a strategic, visionary viewpoint.

The Traditional Leader: Noted for toughness and authority, coupled with impatience and outbursts of temper.
The Slow Leader: Noted for wisdom and foresight, coupled with patience and outbursts of fun.

The traditional leader model is based solely on the stereotypical "masculine" attributes of power, strength, toughness, resilience and drive. The Slow Leader approach loses none of these, but adds the "feminine" attributes of caring, nurturing, supporting, teaching and patience. It's just as strong and resilient, only more approachable, calmer and kinder. The traditional leader generally doesn't care what trouble he or she causes, so along as immediate results match or exceed expectations. The Slow Leader doesn't care what trouble he or she takes to help people deliver all they're capable of, today and in the longer term.

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Alec Watson said...

I really enjoyed this article, as well as others you've posted over the last couple of months. I've included an excerpt for my readers which will publish on November 26. I'm encouraging them to visit your blog for the rest of this article and your other posts.

4:46 PM  
Carmine Coyote said...

Thanks, Alec. I truly appreciate your comment. I hope readers of this site will visit yours as well.

6:29 PM  

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