Leaders Stay Above the Line

Maturity in the Moment is how your actions affect others around you as well as yourself. And in times of change, these actions intensify.

Notice that Selfish and Independent fall below the dotted line.

The best leaders will avoid these levels when dealing with someone who is already there. Assuming negative intent may pull leaders below the dotted line and give the perception that they’re being judgmental.

Level 1 – Selfish: Behaviors executed with little to no regard of their impact on others.

  • “I’m not doing that because I don’t want to.”
  • Missing a project deadline because you feel the project isn’t a priority.

Level 2 – Independent: Behaviors that put forth the minimum level of contributions.

  • “Not my problem; not my fault.”
  • Finishing your work on time without helping another coworker.

Above the dotted line are team-oriented behaviors.

People above the line start by assuming positive intent and surround those below the dotted line with above-the-line behaviors.

Level 3 – Cooperative: Behaviors that encourage working together according to everyone’s strengths, weaknesses, and capabilities.

  • “I’ll do this if you help me with that.”
  • Offering to lead a meeting because your coworker put the slide deck together.

Level 4 – Generous: Behaviors that exhibit a consistent commitment to meeting the needs of others and the group in order to get things done.

  • “I’ll do this, because it’s the right thing to do.”
  • Working extra to help a coworker with a sick child.

Falling below the dotted line is easy to do. It’s even easier during times of change. But what people need most is above-the-line leadership at all times, but especially during times of change.

So encourage, give generously, and meet needs.

Thanks for reading,

Alan Feirer

This is the sixth post in an 11-part series discussing what leaders can do to effectively navigate through times of change. Follow along as we explore the Kubler-Ross Change Curve, differences in DiSC personalities, and the roles of symbolism during change.

Post 1: Leaders Help Others Navigate Change
Post 2: Leaders Recognize Denial & Frustration in Others
Post 3: Leaders Recognize the Moment of Resignation in Others
Post 4: Leaders Encourage Through the Final Stages
Post 5: A Real Life Change Curve Example

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