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Senior Correspondent

Everyone’s been hurt by leaders who need to grow up.

Immature leaders always destroy relationships, hamper performance, and increase frustration.

Poor performance is often a matter of immaturity, not lack of knowledge.

Immature leaders:

  1. Drain energy. Parents with newborns are exhausted.
  2. Feel picked on, unappreciated, and misunderstood.
  3. Chase shiny objects and give up quickly.
  4. Love to prove they’re right.
  5. Don’t know what really matters.
  6. Love the spotlight. Won’t share.
  7. Throw tantrums when they don’t get their way.
  8. Don’t care what people think. They’re all about self-expression to the exclusion of others.
  9. Need to please and be liked. Success requires pleasing others in some way. But, the need to please destroys leadership.
  10. Can’t make the tough call and show compassion at the same time.
  11. Refuse to listen.
  12. Drift without focus and wander without direction.
  13. Become Inconsistent under stress and crumble under pressure.
  14. Succumb to peer-pressure.
  15. Trample on others.
  16. Believe comfort and ease are success.

7 ways to grow up:

  1. Press through the storm rather than running from it. Persistence during turbulence paves the path to maturity. Protecting people from turbulence prolongs immaturity.
  2. Believe you have something to offer. Mature leaders, like mature plants, provide sustenance for others and seeds for next year.
  3. Give yourself to something bigger than yourself. J. D. Salinger wrote, “The mark of the immature man is that he wants to die nobly for a cause, while the mark of the mature man is that he wants to live humbly for one.”
  4. Stop talking about yourself all the time.
  5. Focus on action. If you can’t describe it in behavioral terms, you don’t know what you are talking about.
  6. Tell yourself you don’t know even when you think you do.
  7. Learn from mature leaders who display qualities you admire. Ask, “How did you develop _______?”

Which quality of an immature leader is most deadly?

How is maturity developed?

*This is the “I” installment of the dictionary for leaders.

What other words that begin with “I” relate to successful leadership?

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