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    The GIFTS of Great Leadership

    by Mark McCatty, of Mark McCatty, Inc. Mark is a Leadership & Team Advisor. Helping organizations get results through people.

    I have been asked to re-post this. It’s that time of year…

    At this time of year with the hustle and bustle of the holiday season, our thoughts turn to gift giving. But, gifts aren’t just for family members.  Great leaders bring GIFTS to their organizations, too! A leader cares about the employees in his or her organization and recognizes their contribution.  As a result, the leader has a positive impact on the organization and its people. The GIFTS a great leader brings are:

    • Goals
    • Inspiration
    • Focus
    • Teamwork
    • Success

    Another GIFT great leaders can bring to their organization is their leadership style.

    Good leaders are obsessed with their vision, they hold people accountable, and they give people the benefit of feedback. These gifts allow them to successfully gain commitment from others who share the vision. This commitment enables the motivation and grit [perseverance] required to sustain momentum and overcome obstacles to success.

    As the story goes, Santa brings coal for the stocking of those poor performing children.  Interestingly, poor performing leaders bring COAL to their organizations.

    Please let me define COAL that poor leaders bring:

    • C :: Confusion
    • O :: Obesity [unhealthiness]
    • A :: Apathy
    • L :: Low

    C:: Confusion

    Without clear leadership, conflicting goals and competing priorities can create confusion. Confusion results in conflicting efforts, wasted resources, and general frustration within the organization. People are unsure of the right action to take because poor leaders give different answers to the same question.

    Poor leaders are vague in their directions and lack the correct amount of control to critical tasks.

    O :: Obesity:

    Obese organizations are unhealthy and may eventually die. These organizations lack the leanness to survive. Obese organizations can develop negative beliefs and behaviors that can, like a cancer, eat away at the healthy part of the organization. The healthiness stems from not holding people accountable for their actions. Poor performance receives the same response as good performance. So, the good performers eventually lower their own standards orleave for healthier organizations.

    A :: Apathy:

    Poor leaders do little to develop commitment and motivation. Apathy and even cynicism can flourish in this environment. In what appears to be apathetic leadership there are few honest discussions. The un-discussable remains un-discussable and progress is non-existent.

    Many in the organization know the problems, but few address them.

    L :: Low-ness:

    Poor leaders leave the organization generally very low; low in positive results, low positive levels of effort, low in skills to appropriately complete critical tasks. As a result, business goals are missed, work satisfaction is low, and the future seems uncertain. In uncertain environments the tendency is to hunker down and protect.

    Growth slows to a crawl.


    Take this time to reflect on the style of leadership you use, and the type of gifts that it delivers to your team and to the organization. Understand and appreciate your leadership strengths. And determine to make improvements in areas where you may be reaping COAL.

    Enjoy a safe and blessed Holiday season…and a prosperous New Year.

    Mark McCatty, Leadership & Team Advisor


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    As a leadership and team advisor, I have helped numerous organizations, through speaker presentations, group training, and individual coaching, to meet the challenge of creating engaging and purposeful work environments. 

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