How To Become A Chaotic Leader – Ogechi Adili

I once saw a quote somewhere that has  stuck with me for years.

“A kingly spirit is a servant spirit.”

Leadership isn’t just about title or having the privilege to control people according to personal whims. True leadership entails going out of one’s natural tendency to leave a mark in the lives of the ruled.

In  eleven  little ways , I’m going to show you practical evidence that would easily show 

you how to be a chaotic leader. 


Play Deaf  Ears: who is a leader? Leaders are visionaries who are ladened with the responsibility of motivating others towards results. When you don’t listen to feedback, suggestions and have no desire to get ideas from your team, you become  a chaotic leader. Having listening ears is one attribute of a good leader. Knowing  their complaints, struggles, challenges , strengths and weaknesses. All these come together to aid a good leader manage his/her team better; maximizing their potentials towards achieving better results.


Remain Stagnant: A chaotic leader is one who is stagnant. Such a leader has no intention of growth. He/ she is comfortable being mediocre. There is no inherent desire to know more, acquire new strategies, skills and knowledge that could better leadership style.Such a leader will remain stunted and the team will definitely not benefit much from the leadership style of that leader.


Mr. Know it All: Being a leader who feels he or she knows it all does not only stunts results, it breeds chaos. Using this leadership style hinders innovation, room for correction and change. When team members who are bold question the act , it will definitely cause rifts thereby causing issues in the team and where the team members just go with the flow to avoid issues, problems must definitely arise. A team or organization with such a leader will never experience growth under such leadership style and such organization in the long run will definitely fall apart.


Excuse Making: Any leader who doesn’t accept mistakes or take responsibilities and strategies on a better approach is a chaotic leader. Imagine a team where the leader is late to meetings consistently and when he is is questioned he makes excuses ,  soon even persons who have the culture of being early would start to become perpetual late comers and such leader wouldn’t know how to correct such behavior as it will be a case of kettle calling the pot black.


Success Phobia: I have once worked in an environment where leaders feel threatened by the success of subordinates. A chaotic leader is never at peace with the individual growth of team members. This is unhealthy and inhibits growth. It makes the team toxic. A true leader derives joy from the successes of the people  he/she is leading. As their win is a feather to his/her cap.


Be Stingy with Knowledge: This is no different from the point explained above. A chaotic leader never shares knowledge as he/she is afraid of being ‘dethroned’ rather such leader prefers to guard jealously any knowledge he/she gets. 


Trash the  Feedback Sandwich Theory : The feedback sandwich theory is a theory popularized in the 1980’s by Mary Kay Ash the Mary Kay cosmetics founder in her book on people management .

“Sandwich every criticism between two heavy layers of praise…”


This method of feedback encourages criticism and correction. However, it suggests that positive feedback should go alongside criticism. This is to say; if a person has done a job that wasn’t too satisfactory, praise the individual for taking up the task, go ahead to state your observations you feel she or she should work on , then praise again. This method could help people be more open to criticism; have a clear knowledge on what they should work on and also motivate them to work. A chaotic leader demeans followers. He doesn’t see anything good anyone has done except himself or herself . This is one fastest way to bring about chaos.


Kill Your Bowels of Compassion: You  can be a good leader when you feel the pain of others. This is not to say you should become a leader without a voice, vision or firmness. This only suggests that you be human while being firm. Being empathic isn’t a sign of weakness. However, a chaotic leader sees empathy as a sign of weakness.  A chaotic leader has no bowel of compassion. He isn’t concerned about building relationships so he/she sees no reason to put others into consideration.Let’s carry out a practical test via a question. Between a company that gives sick leave and a company that doesn’t, which do you think would lose more staff?


Have Zero Integrity: The heart of true leadership is integrity . Good leaders are pacesetters. Many countries will never rise from the dirt they are covered in because most of their leaders lack this quality. They have no strong moral principles nor do they possess honesty. They are two faced in all their dealings. If leaders are built this way, how do they enforce the law? How will others follow? A chaotic leader has no iota of integrity. They are never role models to their team.


Never Communicate Effectively: In leadership, communication is key. A leader who knows how to communicate, will easily get people to follow. Effective communication isn’t a one way track. It involves active listening. It entails listening to the expectations of others while expressing your own desires. This way your team or followers understand what is expected of them and they also feel comfortable expressing their interests and concerns. It goes a long way to create a clear path for you and for them. There is no one way of communicating effectively. Employ several ways as the end goal is understanding. A chaotic leader never communicates effectively.


Chicken Out: A chaotic leader chickens out of challenges and is never accountable. Good leadership entails courage . It entails doing what’s best for the team irrespective of the consequence . Good leaders step up to responsibilities, face challenges head on and ever ready to seek or  provide solutions to problems. They don’t create more problems by being indifferent, staying away from the challenge and relegating themselves to the background when chips  are down. 


In summary, a chaotic leader is everything a good leader isn’t. True Leadership isn’t self centered . It is people oriented . Anything leader who neglects the tenets of true leadership ; no matter the title or position is a chaotic leader.


Ogechi Adili
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