When Paul walked into the office, he rarely established eye contact and seemed to ignore people around him. He was known to simply walk away if asked trivial questions and would often seem distant and distracted during meetings. Feedback or direction from Paul was similarly vague and unhelpful.
Sadly this “absentee” behaviour was not a one off. Yet people around Paul continued to accommodate him or modify their own behaviour to make up his level of disconnection. Why? Because Paul was the Executive General Manager.
As change consultants, we encounter a number of leadership styles, including leaders like Paul: leaders who are either unaware of the damaging impact of their indifference, or choose not to care. They have the title (and rewards) of a leader, but for one reason or another, don’t exhibit the qualities of a good leader.