LEADERSHIP ACTIVATION WHITEPAPER

I'm a Leader and I Hate My Job. Now What? Is This You? You're in a position of leadership, but you dread going to work. You're supposed to lead the charge, but you'd rather crawl in a hole. People look to you for vision, inspiration, and guidance, but you're feeling lost, demotivated, and don't know which direction to go – let ...
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Leadership Activation Whitepaper

I’m a Leader and I Hate My Job. Now What? Is This You? You’re in a position of leadership, but you dread going to work. You’re supposed to lead the charge, but you’d rather crawl in a hole. People look to you for vision, inspiration, and guidance, but you’re feeling lost, demotivated, and don’t know which direction to go – let alone have the energy to mobilize others! Somehow, you’ve ascended to senior leadership, or are responsible for a department, division or team, and you find yourself hating your current job. At best it fails to inspire you. Maybe it bores you. Perhaps it’s causing you stress, frustration and fatigue. Maybe your leadership performance is starting to suffer … and failing to produce the level of results required. Maybe it’s been that way for a while.

You Thought You’d Be Doing Better Than This! You believed you’d be doing better than this by this stage in your career. You thought you’d be further along. You know you’re capable of more. But it’s just not happening. The warning signals are there. You want out, but you’re not quite sure where to turn. It’s one thing when the troops need to be rallied. It’s entirely another when the captain is in despair!

This Situation Is Far Too Common. After 15+ years of coaching and consulting with leaders in a variety of contexts, I’ve seen this situation far too often. It’s one of those “behind closed doors” problems that almost always stays hidden. People don’t want to (and rarely get to) hear about this struggle because it can be the death knell for the leader and the implications for the team or organization can be truly frightful.

The Root Causes Are Clear. After helping leaders recover from burnout, transition to better roles, reignite a passion for peak performance, and get back on the track to leadership success, I can tell you the two most common causes of this dilemma: 1. Leadership role mismatch 2. Core driver mismatch © Josh White

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“I’m a Leader and I Hate My Job. Now What?”

Let’s take the case of leadership role mismatch first.

Leadership Role Mismatch Perhaps at one point the role you now fill was a good fit for your natural talents and skills – maybe even a great fit – but you’ve grown and the role hasn’t grown with you. Or it’s possible the organization has shifted, is placing new and different demands on you, and the role itself has changed. Or, maybe it was never a good fit in the first place! Maybe your natural leadership style is far better suited for a different context. Regardless, the number one reason I see leaders disengage and begin to dislike (or even hate) their job is due to a poor fit between their natural talents, skills and abilities, and the actual leadership tasks that must be done. It’s a recipe for stress, frustration, burnout, sub-par performance, career derailment, and even organizational decline. It happens when what the role is asking of the leader, and what the person is most naturally suited to deliver, no longer match – or never matched to begin with.

To Be at Your Best – Your Unique Genius MUST Match the Leadership Role! We all possess certain innate talents and skills, and it is these traits that drive – not only how well we perform a given set of tasks – but how much we enjoy performing them, too. Just like your level of ability to play a musical instrument will directly affect not only how well you play, but also how much you enjoy playing it, so too does a lack of talent for certain job roles undermine how well you perform them and your level of enjoyment for doing them. Simply stated, you perform far less effectively while enjoying yourself much less! When what you must do in your role is poorly aligned with your natural talents, strengths and unique “genius,” performance and satisfaction take a big hit. This creates a compounded emotional toll that’s impossible to avoid paying. Over time, this increasingly erodes your ability to muster the energy, effort, and skill required to lead effectively. At first, the mismatched leader continues to try to achieve significant goals and get the job done. But the results generated continue to miss the mark. The leader suffers a nagging sense that they could and should be doing better, but it never seems to materialize. Over time, the friction caused by the mismatch runs the leader down. It takes more and more effort to generate mediocre results. Performance declines, the organization suffers, and the leader secretly finds herself caring less and less about it! This is exactly how you end up with an organization desperately needing solid leadership, while the leader secretly hates their job, feels lost, and often resents those they are supposed to lead. © Josh White

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“I’m a Leader and I Hate My Job. Now What?”

You can see why this problem most often stays hidden…

Core Driver Mismatch According to modern research, there are seven core categories of motivation or passions. While each of us definitely finds motivation in our own unique way, when considered on the whole, all of life passions fall into one of seven broad categories. I like to call these core drivers. They’re much like core values, but more deeply engrained and often operate outside our conscious awareness. They color the way we view reality. They influence the value we assign to events, behaviors, and experiences. They direct the way we make decisions, even how we determine right from wrong. They drive – not only the way we work – but how we live our lives. It’s impossible to escape them! The more completely our work tasks and leadership demands satisfy these core drivers, the more engaged we become. We have more emotional fuel to perform at higher levels. We see more purpose and meaning in what we’re doing. We’re able to tap into reservoirs of energy, access deeper passion, and handle stress much more effectively. In short, we’re empowered fulfill our leadership potential. We become capable of reaching higher levels of influence, impact, and excellence. On the other hand… When these desires and motivations are not satisfied by what we do, our excitement for the job wanes. Our emotional fuel decreases. Our inner drive to lead decreases, and our performance inevitably suffers. Obstacles seem larger. Barriers seem insurmountable. Purpose and meaning is drained from our work. We become more stressed. We handle stress less effectively. Motivation steadily drops. If the problem isn’t dealt with, the leader slowly (and very unfortunately) becomes an empty shell of what they could have been. It’s a compounding, negative-snowball-effect that usually ends in the leader getting fired, resigning, or – if they stay – the organization getting mired in mediocrity and poor performance … indefinitely. It’s sad. It’s harsh. And it’s true.

It Doesn’t Have to Be This Way! The most common solution I see leaders run to in these situations is to look for a new job. That isn’t always the best course of action. You might need to change jobs. You might need to change your whole career! Or you might need to stay put and re-create your leadership role, right where you’re at. But none of those are the first step to take!!! © Josh White

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“I’m a Leader and I Hate My Job. Now What?”

If you jump ahead and take those actions without doing the deeper work, first, you can get yourself into even bigger trouble. Let me explain.

The REAL Solution Requires You to Go DEEP. The key to successfully resolving this dilemma lies first in developing a thorough understanding of exactly what about this mismatched role fails to satisfy you, to engage you, and ignite passion inside you. You’ve got to nail down the roots of why this role doesn’t align with, activate, and release the highest, best, most powerful and authentic self inside you. Many assume these facts are obvious. They usually pinpoint issues like having a bad boss, lack of access to resources or the right people, a particularly difficult context or situation, or other organizational members that obstruct your work. These are only surface issues, though. When you only pinpoint surface issues, the end result of your transition very well may be that you jump from the frying pan into the fire … because you failed to know exactly what you were running from or running to.

Asking Powerful Questions Will Reveal Your Path Forward My advice to leaders who want to change jobs, careers, or re-create their leadership role is to make absolutely sure they possess that thorough understanding. I urge them to put in the effort required to answer questions like: • • • •

Do you truly understand your greatest talents, strengths, and weaknesses? And what are they? Do you fully understand, not only your core values, but the deep emotional forces that drive your heart, mind, and soul and shape how you view the world? What are they? Do you understand your natural leadership style and what kinds of roles and contexts require the style of leadership you are best at providing? Are you absolutely sure you know what you’re looking for in your next role beyond compensation and title?

Quit placing blame on other people. Quit beating yourself up. Don’t chalk up your challenges to extraordinary circumstances. And it does no good to emotionally intensify your situation (and justify your perspective) with judgments of right and wrong. None of those behaviors empower you to move forward! Instead – think in terms of misalignment … a simple mismatch between a person and a role. Then, take the time to answer those questions and figure out exactly what’s causing your current mismatch.

© Josh White

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“I’m a Leader and I Hate My Job. Now What?”

Unless you have solid, reliable, clear answers to these questions, you risk putting yourself right back into the same situation again (or worse).

Achieving Clarity Will Catalyze Your Breakthrough Research conducted by the Harvard Business School has repeatedly shown the most successful leaders share the quality of reflectiveness. They’ve developed a brutally honest and accurate view of themselves – as well as cultivated an ability to see the world around them with much deeper clarity. Introspection, deepened self-awareness, and deeply honest self-analysis are an integral part of getting to your next level of leadership and finding (or creating) a better role. Furthermore, cultivating these qualities will allow you to evaluate your circumstances more accurately as you go. You can make significant headway in these areas by setting aside time for reflection and using a journal to gain clarity and surface key insights. The biggest challenge is just slowing down and taking the time to do it! You’ll be amazed at the insights you surface when you create a protected time and space, channel your thoughts through pen and paper, and articulate honest answers to these strategically asked questions. There are, however, tools out there that can dramatically accelerate and deepen the accuracy of this process.

The Right Tools Will Accelerate the Process I strongly recommend leaders in these situations make use of some of the numerous psychometric assessments on the market. The further you are along in your career, and the higher you’ve climbed, the higher the stakes are and the more important this is. There are just too many hidden gotcha’s, pitfalls, and blind spots that can sabotage the process. You can avoid them with the right tools! These tools need to be scientifically validated (which many are, but many are not). They need to be easily understood (I.E., no psychobabble) and they need to measure motivations and passions, strengths, talents, and weaknesses, and surface insights about your leadership style that reveal the types of roles you’re most likely to succeed in. You may have seen a lot of the assessments on the market today, but here are a few I believe do the best job in a situation like this: • • • • • • • © Josh White

The DISC Behavioral Profile The Values Index Motivational Profile The Attribute Index Profile The ADVanced Insights The Kolbe Assessment People Keys The Platinum rule ·∙

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“I’m a Leader and I Hate My Job. Now What?”

In my coaching and consulting practice I’ve settled on recommending the ADVanced Insights Profile. It’s the single most validated one on the list, and as a result your confidence can be extremely high. Clients also tell me they get the most comprehensive, deeply informed perspective from this profile.

Far Better Performance and Much Deeper Satisfaction Are Possible for You. If you’re a leader in transition, suffering the symptoms of mismatch in your current role, or find yourself scanning the horizon for new career opportunities, I strongly encourage you to resolve this situation the right way. Do the work of reflection, introspection, and self-analysis. Harness the power of scientific assessment to deepen your insights, increase your accuracy, and accelerate your progress. Don’t risk stepping out of a rough situation into something worse! It’s often possible to stay where you’re at and reform your current role into something that reignites you, activates you, and releases the highest and best you’ve got to give.

A Gift from JoshWhite.tv to Help You Along Your Way To help you on your leadership journey, I’m making an ADVanced Insights Profile available – for free – to qualified readers of this whitepaper. It’ll expand your self-awareness at an accelerated rate and reveal exactly what type of leadership role you need to pursue (or create) in order to get back on your optimum path to leadership performance, career success, and personal fulfillment. Simply visit my website (joshwhite.tv) and click the “Start Now For Free” button on the home page. Fill out the JoshWhite.tv Kickoff Experience application and we’ll follow up to personally move you forward within 48 business hours! In the end, if you’re looking to change jobs, careers, or refine your leadership role – before you start focusing on where you want to go (your better tomorrow), you’ve got to start by understanding where you are coming from (your reality today). Arming yourself with a better understanding of exactly what you need in a leadership role and why you need it is absolutely crucial!

Go to joshwhite.tv and click the “Start Now For Free” button to claim your free ADVanced Insights Profile!

JoshWhite.tv specializes in leadership development that accelerates growth and directly drives bigger, better bottom line results. Our team has catalyzed $100s of millions in revenue growth and served 1000s of clients around the world, including some of the world’s biggest brands. © Josh White

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www.JoshWhite.tv

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[email protected]