A Failure to Practise Leadership

Stacey Ashley Blog

A Failure to Practise Leadership


‘Leaders don’t create followers, they create more leaders.’ Tom Peters

I was coaching one of my favourite executive clients, Elizabeth, last week. She’s smart, dedicated, talented, a strategic thinker, great at building relationships and high performing. She has an amazing track record and has built a high performing team which is doing strategic, value adding work for the organisation, and yet during our coaching session she was not happy. She was so frustrated she burst into tears.


The behaviour of her direct leader. He doesn’t have time for her. He can’t be bothered to turn up to their one-on-one meetings. He neglects to pass on critical information she needs to do her job well. He doesn’t invite her to key meetings which impact her portfolio. He dismisses her concerns and doesn’t accept her input easily.

This is a fundamental failure to practise leadership.

If you have people reporting to you and you don’t give them your time and attention, respect, recognition or value their work, there is no commitment to the leadership principle of creating more leaders. It’s like having a dog that you ignore. When you finally call its name because you decide to spend some quality time with it, it’s not likely to come to you.

In Gallup’s study of managers, they found that, “The manager accounts for at least 70% of the variance in employee engagement.”  

There are three things that you really need to focus on if you’re going to create more leaders, you need to mentor, model and coach. You need to know leadership, you need to show leadership and you need to grow leadership. If you don’t do any one or combination of those things proactively, then you are failing to practise leadership and you’re not earning your place in your ‘leadership’ role.

Lead Your Tribe: Mentor-Model-Coach

Your Tribe: Mentor-Model-Coach

In my experience and observation, there are still many people in leadership roles who know leadership and are very happy to tell you everything they know about leadership…the challenge comes in showing leadership and then growing leadership.

If your approach is to ‘do as I say and not as I do’… then chances are, your team are not buying what you’re selling. Your best and brightest will leave you if you don’t commit to the improvement of your practice of leadership.

‘People don’t leave bad companies, they leave bad managers.’ Marcus Buckingham

If you are in a leadership role then make the decision to improve your practise of leadership.

Mentor, model, and coach every day.


1. Consider your leadership.

  • Be honest with yourself.
  • Are you proactively mentoring, modelling, and coaching every day?
  • Reflect and seek input from others.

2. Identify the gaps in your knowledge, skills and practise. Many people naturally use a mentoring approach. Not so many have the skills to coach.

  • What are the skills that you need?
  • What are the disciplines that you need to institute so that you can become a better leader and show up as a leader every day?

3. Take action to close the gaps.

  • Build skills.
  • Actively model leadership.
  • Be disciplined about spending time with your people.
  • Continue to consider your practice of leadership.

You will become a better leader.

You will become, a better practitioner of leadership.

Your team will respond to that.

Love to know your thoughts.

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AND: Whenever you’re ready… here are 4 ways I can help you grow your coaching and leadership:

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