Senior leaders respond to unmet needs, desires or goals by “acting-out” involuntarily. They betray their internal frustrations with emotional outbursts reminiscent of a toddler’s tantrum.I call this the LEADER’S TANTRUM.
The same respectable influential figure you revere suddenly gets angry at you and everyone, blaming, fuming and hopefully not, cursing. In one short breath that lasts only a minute, he has recalled sixty things you have done wrong and why YOU are now a pain. You wonder what the problem is. You try to explain but he shuts you up and then shuts you out. He rants at the top of his voice. Sometimes, he runs the risk of distorting the facts, blaming you for what is not your fault. And it can be sudden, unplanned and unexpected.
A leader’s tantrum is a CALL FOR HELP, reactively
WHAT A LEADER’S TANTRUM INDICATES
The summary of all executive act up is that the senior leader is not entirely happy and has unresolved work issues that have piled up. More specifically…
- He cannot (or is not) expressing his needs in CLEAR TERMS. Nonetheless, the associate being the respondent must understand there’s a need to be met.
- He’s not getting the RESULTS he desires.
- He wants urgent ASSISTANCE to share his workload.
- He expects someone to have ASSUMED responsibility.
- He feels RESTRICTED and desires to be free to handle other (higher) aspects of the corporate vision.
- He is OUT OF CONTROL, overwhelmed and losing direction; of course, this also affects the associate leader indirectly.
- He’s out of RHTYMN and wants to separate his person from the pressures of his work.
- He’s STRESSED and needs some help for the time being.
- For an insecure leader, he just needs MORE ATTENTION from you for a while!
Prolonged neglect of a leader’s tantrum is prolonged distraction to the associate’s productivity.