Self-entitled with zero empathy

Having witnessed more than my fair share of self-entitlement from senior executives this particular director took it to another level……in fact she took the cake and the crown for her over the top self-entitled behaviour.

This director took the time to give me a lecture (boarder line verbal abuse) on how her time was extremely important. She went on to say she was not interested in appointments unless they were mid-morning and how dare I offend her with a request for a breakfast meeting at 8:00am. She reminded me that she was director and everyone needed to dance around her. Her time was precious, it was all about her. Can you believe this? A Board member responsible for making the million dollar decisions which affects thousands of employees did not have a humble bone in her body. She was not prepared to budge or be flexible, requested a certain five star restaurant, the list went on and on.

I was appalled to say the least but the sad truth is that this is happening all around me and I find myself fighting for others who are unable to deal with such awful, rude leaders who lack compassion and continuously belittle and intimidate those around them. This particular director didn’t stop for a second to think about nor empathise with me, she was so consumed with self-entitlement she could not move past her demeaning and inconsiderate ways. Rather than saying no sorry my schedule cannot accommodate a breakfast meeting could you please offer me another time, she had to go down the path of self-righteousness.

This director was clearly all for a work life balance when it came to her needs yet failed to reciprocate and share that compassionate, empathetic view towards me. In fact she failed to acknowledge me period. I was someone who was disrupting her walk in the park. How dare I.

Don’t get me wrong I’m no stranger to self-entitled senior executive behaviour and I’ve had my quota of office politics spanning 18 year but what is seriously starting to affect me on a human level is this lack of empathy and complete self-entitlement with no regard for others. This behaviour needs to stop. We need to start calling out such behaviour as it’s disgusting and far from the role models we are looking to lead our future generation.

How to develop a role model in your child

Like any other 15 year old teenager, my one has had her fair share of good and bad decision-making. Whether these were influenced by peer pressure or a lack of balanced judgment is irrelevant as we all have choices and the choices we make shape our destiny. We can teach our children right from wrong but ultimately wrapping them up in cotton wool isn’t going to teach them the survival skills required to take on the world. Whilst we are there to guide them, they need to learn how to make their own decisions whether good or bad and understand the consequences in order to grow into responsible adults.

What is important however is the need to be continuously present in our children’s lives in order to share the lessons regardless of a good or bad experience encountered. This requires regular conversations with our children to check-in and understand their current challenges/pressures on both a personal and professional level. It’s not about never-ending lectures on how they could have done things better but more about letting our children open up and share their reasoning for doing so in a trusting and non-judgmental environment.

In order to improve relationships with our children, I believe parents and teachers must take accountability for regularly checking in with teachers to see how our children are progressing and offering support where needed. Parents cannot rely on teachers alone to ensure their children are on the right track nor can teachers expect the parents to know whether their child is struggling or not until they read the school report. By taking ownership and accountability together parents and teachers are more likely to develop well-mannered and considerate role models in our society as we demonstrate kindness, consideration and willingness to support each other regardless of the circumstances.

Policies are only as good as the leadership that demonstrates them daily. – Lilianna Kovacevic

Organisations in which leaders continuously fail to uphold a united front through demonstrated action and by this I mean stand united in their decision making processes as opposed to voicing their personal biases, will struggle to gain their employees trust.

What does bring strong employee engagement (buy-in) is demonstrated alignment amongst the leadership team through one united voice and consistent language, instead of leadership teams continuously putting each other on the chopping block (dog eat dog mentality).

This kind of approach lacks credibility and influence to bring their employees on board their change initiatives which are supposedly there to better service the customers and the business holistically.

What leaders amid organisations need to realise is that they are representing a company and the company’s ethos and therefore leaders need to park their egos aside and focus on the bigger picture which does not concern their individual biases, especially if they are not in alignment with the company values.

Excuses are for losers

Ninety-nine percent of the failures comes from people who have the habit of making excuses. – George W. Carve

Ok harsh, but certainly fair. I can absolutely accept a person failing as a result of trying their hardest and exhausting all possible avenues BUT what drives me mad is when people accept failure…..defeat before even giving it a go. How crazy is that?

If you find yourself making a lot of excuses, rather than just getting on with your goals, be brutally honest with yourself by asking whether you are merely avoiding the “too hard” basket of tasks needing to be done? Which resulted in excuses after excuses. If this is the case, you are probably allowing self-doubt to creep in and take over your mindset. Or, you might need a good kick up the backside to get you back on track!

Take control of your confidence and kick self-doubt in the guts with some positive self-talk in order to stay on track. Reassurance is critical, along with surrounding yourself with positive and encouraging people such as a mentor. The main takeaway is that you need to do the WORK as excuses are for losers.

What gets measured gets done….or does it really?

Certainly at an individual level, if you are passionate about the initiative/goal, yes absolutely… BUT….what if you are merely reporting to tick the box? Organisations are well known for making their staff inflate reports to appear better than they are for the sake of public perception.

A great example being the hot topic of gender diversity, having more women in senior/executive positions. Do we really need the government to mandate reporting in order for it to be taken seriously? Anything that is forced rather than engaged, is far from sustainable (productive). Informing and educating, builds a following, resulting in greater impact, through demonstrated action.

My take, if it’s an engrained habit, it’s demonstrated in all that you do and therefore does not require special attention. Informing and educating is key rather than creating all this hype around the need for more measures, to prove you are doing the right things on the surface. What really matters, is walking your talk each and every day, advocating your cause rather than showing off in an annual report.

First impressions – why bother?

Whether it’s your personal brand or business, leaders that invest time and money in training their staff to provide superior customer service (value proposition), will place a heavy focus on ensuring their staff deliver such services with absolute confidence. The first step in this process, is to nail the first impression! Do this well (consistently) and the customer will keep coming back. Why, because confident staff, are empowered, energised and enthusiastic to do their very best, more importantly they will make it happen!