A chaotic environment is a sign that we're not a quintessential leaderThe example we set speaks louder than any words we could ever say.

And our examples reveal whether we are quintessential leaders or not. People watch us more than they listen to us. 

When our words don’t match what we do, we lose credibility, trust and trustworthiness. In a nutshell, we are showing all the teams in our lives how not to be quintessential leaders.

Here’s a quick summary of how not to be a quintessential leader:

  • Inexperience (for example, putting someone in a leadership position who has no leadership experience)
  • Lack of organization (for example, having a free-for-all, chaotic environment)
  • Lack of planning at every level (for example, not clarifying and articulating before beginning with all the relevant parties a definitive plan of action at each step of processes and projects)
  • Lack of framework (for example, not having any overarching constructs within which to work efficiently, productively, and successfully)
  • Lack of consistency (for example, saying or doing one thing sometimes and saying or doing the complete opposite other times)
  • Lack of knowledge (for example, not having an in-depth understanding and familiarity with what our teams are expected to accomplish)
  • Ambiguous guidelines or constantly-changing guidelines (for example, guidelines are either non-existent or they change on a whim, depending on the day or the minute)
  • Lack of engagement (for example, not acknowledging and working with our teams)
  • Lack of adherence to policies we require of others (for example, requiring our teams to be on time, but consistently being late ourselves)
  • Lack of concern for our teams (for example, imposing more bureaucratic – but unnecessary – layers on our teams because it will make things easier for us – but harder for them)
  • Lack of honesty and integrity (for example, lying to hide our own lack of knowledge or lack of ability)

For those of us who are striving to be quintessential leaders, we must constantly be looking at our own leadership to ensure that we are on the quintessential leadership path and not showing others how not to be a quintessential leader by not being one ourselves.

How are we doing?


  1. I see a lot of the first point – inexperience. Then there is lying, which I detest. It is often hard for an older person to work for someone who has authority over them, is younger, and inexperienced. Chaos is definitely the perfect word to be used.


    • Inexperience is common because most people are put in leadership positions, not because they are qualified to lead, but because they are good at some particular skill (this is how organizations reward skill proficiency), they are “yes” people, or because they’ve curried favor with the people making those decisions (often throwing other people under the bus along the way).

      Sadly, dishonesty in some shape or form is usually a component of how many people get into leadership positions. Most of this is not outright lying, but it involves being skillful at shading the truth, manipulating the truth, omitting the truth, or twisting the truth. People who are good at this tend to rise to the top and manage to survive, no matter what.

      Unfortunately, most organizations don’t want intelligent, critically-thinking, honest leaders. They want people they can control and who can control others.

      That is the reason that quintessential leaders are so rare.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. […] Loose cannons, on the other hand, are completely unpredictable. You never know who’s going to show up – the nice or the rude, the fair or the unfair, the angry or the calm – and the only thing you can absolutely count on is that aboutfaces in positions and answers are practically instantaneous and neverending. […]


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s