Are You A Yo-Yo Leader?

Today is national yo-yo day. Who would have thought we have a day for the famous toy. I can remember how much I loved playing with a yo-yo when I was a child.  I used to love how the yo-yo spun fast and furious to the ground, and I was always delighted when it spun right back up without getting tangled, and I have the yo-yo tightly back in my hand again. My memories got me thinking about how life and people, in general, can be experienced as yo-yos. One minute you feel like you spinning down out of control, and the next, you are flying back up without any obstacles or obstructions.

Now, as much as the yo-yo is a great toy, we should not lead like yo-yos. As leaders, we need to be consistent, inspiring confidence within our teams instead of having fleeting flashes of brilliance. I believe being a consistent leader is about always acting or behaving in a similar way. Be clear on your principles so you can refer back to them when making decisions. 

Not being consistent as a leader can harm your business and your teams. When a leader is inconsistent, people wait to act. They wait to see what will be asked of them before they take action. Then, even if they are sure they know what action should be taken, they will hesitate.

When you are consistent, it’s easier to get others to be consistent too. When you walk the talk, you can expect that others will too. Consistent leaders focus on critical issues in the business instead of spreading themselves too thin. We know leaders need to remain focused on the issues that matter, which will lead to the organisation’s long-term success.  As leaders, we should delegate and let those who live with a new policy, process, or procedure help create or modify it. Allow people to identify and solve problems, giving them a chance to expand their scope.

Although a leader needs to be agile and adapt to changing circumstances and times, often seen as “yo-yo” moments, once a leader has committed to a particular course of action, they need to see it through until the very end. There is always a better way to doing things. We all have suggestions and contributions to finding better ways. So challenge long-standing ways of doing things.

Not knowing which version of your boss will show up at the office each day can be incredibly unsettling for your teams. However, leaders with high levels of emotional intelligence can manage their emotions and do not let situations get on top of them, causing emotional outbursts or irrational behaviour that will demoralise their staff. 

If you want to ensure that you are a consistent leader, ask yourself whether your choices are consistent with your principles. The principles that you should have communicated and openly demonstrated to your team. 

It is important to remember that people come to work wanting to perform at their peak; the leader’s job is to enable them to do this. If a team or team member fails, it is the leader who did not put that person in a position to succeed.

Do not show favour to particular staff members treat everyone the same, praise in public and correct in private. Create motivational opportunities, foster healthy competition, good attitudes, good morale and have some fun.

I am sure at some point in your career. You would have seen leaders who have a Yo-Yo temperament. One minute they are tightly wound up about procedure and policies, and then the next, they are melting down in a strange need for complete control, being very ineffective leaders.  More effective leadership occurs when there is a gentle arc somewhere in the middle where there is a balance between collaboration, consultation and being in charge ideally pictured as a pendulum.

Invest in your leaders today. Leadership development can bring about the change you need and drive your business forward.  

"I believe that leadership Coaching is a process of self-understanding and can help every organisation achieve success. Reach out to me today to learn more about how to develop your leaders, Coach Sonja Shear".

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