Critical Leadership Question: Do You Bring Out Mediocrity In Others?

Leadership is hard. It’s not about giving commands and mandates; it goes beyond that. You have to get involved with people, care about them. It’s about influence. You see successful leaders deliver results through relationships. With that said, you can tell a lot how someone leads by the way his / her followers behave.

I’ve been engaging with a company in an old school industry that still operates by a very old mental model of leadership. They’re aware of this and their leaders are trying to change their habits, but it’s difficult.

The style of leadership they focus on is about mandating and controlling. There isn’t a whole lot of visionary and coaching leadership happening. I witnessed how one particular leader stands out, specifically in how his direct reports have adopted his style.

Basically this leader settles for good enough, not entirely his fault because that’s what gets rewarded. He doesn’t challenge his direct reports to do better. But how can they when their leader doesn’t model the behavior!


It’s typical that when someone gets a leadership position (true leaders are positionless) they start settling for good enough; even mediocrity. Great leaders don’t. They recognize when something is good or bad and believe they can make it better; they model the behavior and challenge their direct reports to think and act bigger.

So the questions you have to ask yourself is: what kind of a leader do I want to become?

Because the answer to this question is how it will reflect on everyone else. Remember, leaders create new leaders. Great leaders are against mediocrity. They challenge others. They care if others are not striving for better and challenge them to do so. Because not doing it means siding with mediocrity.

Bottom line: When you don’t push others to strive for greatness, you are contributing to mediocrity.

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