Have you ever wondered why organizations tolerate dysfunctional leaders? The answer is dysfunction is so prevalent it’s often not even recognized as problematic. Many corporations just desire leaders to go along and get along more than they desire them to lead. It saddens me to articulate this next thought – corporate leadership is rapidly becoming an oxymoron.

Think of those you know in a position of leadership, and if you know what you’re looking for, you’ll find they are likely not a leader, but a risk manager. When leaders become conformists who desire to control instead of surrender, they not only fail to inspire and challenge, they fail to lead. Leadership has become synonymous with babysitting in many organizations, which does nothing more than signal a lack of trust in the workforce. I can think of no time in modern history where employees feel less valued and trusted. Remember, a leader’s job is not to place people in a box, but to free them from boxes.

It’s not difficult to find signs of leadership dysfunction in most organizations – all you have to do is open your eyes. Most businesses eventually reach a point of what they refer to as maturity – I call it institutionalization. This phenomenon occurs when blending to the norm sadly becomes the norm. The larger an organization becomes, the more acceptable mediocrity seems to become. Therein lies the problem; leadership exists to disrupt mediocrity – not embrace it.