Issue Number 20: Lois and Leadership

Consider Lois. She was extremely introverted and extremely judgmental. She had been spoiled as a child, learning to get her way by complaining. She rarely had to make personal sacrifices and never learned to play well with others.

When Lois entered the working world, the subtleties of interpersonal relationships simply eluded her, and her lack of “people skills” combined with her inner conflicts made it difficult for her to work with, and especially for, other people. She was always looking for ways to sneak up on and attack people. She was a known as “The Shark” to both friend and foe.

When Lois was promoted to a leadership position, she was miserable. She complained about the additional work she had to do, she complained about the people to whom she was delegating work, and she complained about the people who were always complaining. When people offered to help, she even complained about that. Her life was full of frustration, which she carried with her everywhere she went. Looking a lot like the lion shown above, she would go from zero to rage in an instant, often directing her rage at innocent bystanders.

In her view of the world, people resented everything she tried to do. It seemed to her the more she tried, the more they resisted, and the more they resisted, the more she listened to her darker angels.

She did not last very long as a leader. Her inability to get along with others, her constant complaining, and her frequent outbursts led to her decision to leave the company and seek professional help. Eventually she found a position in another organization, where she could be an individual contributor. She still complained, but there were not as many people listening.

Far better to live by the words of Brigadier General Bernard Champoux, “When faced with great challenges, don’t ask that the task become easier. Instead, ask that you find the inner strength to deal with the situation.”

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