I call it dog dumping. It’s when your grown children dump their pets on you while they take a vacation or a trip. We allow them to do this because we love them and thus care for their pets. There are other types of "dumping" that takes place in our relationships on a professional and personal level. Many times leaders create a negative environment by dumping unrealistic expectations on those they lead. Instead of taking the time to earn the right to lead, these leaders shovel out critical complaints and demands. They are more interested in things that benefit themselves instead of caring about others. This type of toxic leadership results in frustration and resentment among the team members.
Likewise, in our personal relationships we can unload unwanted or unneeded expectations on those we care about. This includes pouring out negativity, irrational anger, and blame on others which leads to broken relationships and a lack of trust.
It is essential that we get this right. We have a personal responsibility as leaders to be self aware of the expectations and emotions that we aim at those around us. In fact, as our responsibilities as leaders increase, our right to lead poorly decreases. It takes self discipline to create a positive environment with our words and actions. It means being willing to put the needs of others over our own desires and impulses. There is no magic pill that will stop us from behaving badly to those around us. There is only our determination to do the right thing. It is not always easy; as a matter of fact, effective leadership is difficult. However, the pain is definitely worth the gain of developing strong relationships in your life.
We will continue to help out our kids with their pets, but I will work to make sure the dumping stops there. Choose to practice the self discipline of creating a positive and encouraging environment for those you lead and you will make a difference.