It’s an attribute that looks good on any resume and is sought after hardcore in the corporate world. People want to hire a good leader.
But even if you’re a lazy ass like me and aren’t going to be applying for a new job any time soon, leadership has its benefits.
I mean to put it bluntly and in a thumbnail version. What is leadership?
The ability to get people to do shit for you.
I don’t know about you, but I like getting other people to do shit for me, so I don’t have to do it in the first place. It’s that simple.
Naturally, I want to be a strong leader, if anything, so I have less things I actually have to do myself.
Besides, if you think about it, I mean really, think about it. The most successful people in the world are the greatest leaders, and in turn, the most lazy people on the face of this earth.
Seriously, you don’t reach high levels of success working hard all by yourself. Doesn’t matter how talented you are, how diligent you are, or how knowledgeable.
If you try to do things as a “lone wolf” so to speak, your success (and that of your business) is completely limited to your own capabilities. You only have so much time, so much expertise.
By adding people to your “team”, by leading others, you are literally multiplying the capabilities and success you can have. You expand the knowledge, productivity, and talents beyond just yourself.
Put it this way, a group of ten average Joes are probably waaay more efficient at running a business than one single Ace genius entrepreneur. It’s better (and not to mention more efficient) to practice leadership skills over productivity skills.
Getting other people to do shit for you is key to minimizing effort and maximizing results.
Now there are two ways to go about doing that, two ways to go about influencing others.
One is a rather brash and unruly. The other is a more cool, calm and laid back approach. I’ll let you guess which one we’re going for.
Both styes of “influence” achieve the same goal of getting other people to do shit for you, but one is a hell of a lot easier and also makes you a hell of a lot more well liked.
See ,there’s a difference between being a Belligerent Boss being a Lazy Leader.
We’ll dive into the nitty gritty details, but to give the TLDR version:
A Lazy Leader gets people to Follow his/her direction, while a Hardworking Manager Forces them to go a certain way.
It all comes down to commanding versus inspiring.
Go with the flow
A Lazy Leader has Vision. A Belligerent Boss, on the other hand, has Plans.
Plans are rigid, everything must be followed to a tee. There’s no deviating from the plan.
But plans can fail. Plans can collapse. Things may not always go “according to the plan”.
But vision? Vision never fails. While there may be failure along the way to achieve said vision, mistakes are meh and the Vision doesn’t go away.
With Vision, you are flexible. You can go with the flow and adapt to changes. You can handle setbacks with poise and grace. Whereas with plans, you’re not really able to accommodate any sort of unexpected turn of events.
You induce panic and stress when the plan fails because you were counting on things happening a certain way. What happens when they don’t go exactly how you had planned? Well, now you’re fucked.
Building a solid Vision though will keep you moving forward slow n’ steady, no matter how heavy shit hits the fan. Unlike having a plan, no solid set of instructions on how to get from point A to point B. This allows you to be creative and resourceful in achieving your goal. You become no longer limited by any sort of “protocol” and can instead “use your discretion” to accomplish what needs to be done.
There’s only so much Preparation you can do. At some point, you have to realize that not everything (or everyone) is completely under your control. Let it go and be able to go with the flow.
Plans take a lot of prep-work and rarely go precisely as written. That’s just the reality. So cut the planning and instead give people a Vision.
That’s not to say you shouldn’t have some sort of “direction” to go to get started, but to lay out every single detail is a waste of energy and a waste of time. Take the Lazy path and simply heed to your Vision.
When you do this, nothing is a hassle.When you go with the flow and maintain your Vision, you can put your worries aside because the details take care of themselves.
Be flexible. Adaptability is a stronger skill than preparedness.
In saying all that, don’t try to micro-manage. This is literally the process of doing someone’s job, without actually physically doing it. It results in a larger workload and a larger stress burden on your part, and also just annoys the hell out of the other person, making them think “God, can’t he trust I do anythingright?
Accept that people won’t always do it “your way”. You can correct them, but don’t keep nagging or berating them about it until they do it. Show you appreciate what they’ve done, then go ahead and offer a suggestion to help them improve.
A Belligerent Boss expects things to be done a certain way, to be done according to plan. Period. No ifs, and, or buts about it..
This honestly decreases the level of productivity, because now the boss and employees alike, are giving a fuck about details that don’t need to be given a fuck about.
Provide Vision for people and they’ll find a way to bring it to life. You don’t have to be a Belligerent Boss e and try and assure every t is crossed. Just sit back and trust they’ll get it done.
Give the benefit of the doubt
If you’re so doubtful that one of your employees or people on your team will complete their task, you have to ask yourself why you even hired them or chose them for that matter, in the first place.
Part of Lazy Leadership is knowing who to assign to what task. Assign the right people to the right task and ease on back.
You don’t have to billergerently “check in” to see “how things are coming along” if you know that they’re fully capable of completing the task you assigned them. Set your Vision and let people make it happen.
If they don’t get it done, you can discipline them then and there, but until then, just believe the shit you want them to get done will in fact get done.
Aim for integrity, not control.
Trust others and they will trust you. Never assume a person will lie, cheat, or steal, unless they have done something to prove otherwise.
Integrity is the one thing you’ve got in life that actually fucking matters. No matter your riches or successes -- they’re all worthless without strong integrity.
When you say something, mean it. Honesty is honestly the best policy. Don’t sugarcoat things. Don’t give vague answers. Just tell the truth. No icing. No confetti. No bullshit.
If you like the way someone did something, offer a compliment. If you didn’t like it, offer some criticism. Match your words with your honest feelings.
If you’re not 100% honest, if you’re not fully embracing integrity, then what you’re doing is trying to control things. You’re trying to control a certain image. You’re trying to manipulate.
Manipulation is the tactic of a Boss used to get his way. You have to be okay with not getting your way sometimes. You have to let the truth speak for itself, rather than trying to hide it.
That’s the way of a Lazy Leader.
I mean, concocting a certain story or image is a lot of work, man.
Don’t give ‘em lip service. Just keep it real, dude.
Decide and Abide
Be decisive but open to feedback. Make a decision and stick to it. Don’t easily back down from your decisions, but at the same time, don’t be so rigid about them.
You’ll wear yourself thin by backing in and out of decisions. Just make one and again, go with the flow.
A Belligerent Boss will insist it’s “my way or the highway”, giving little room for any sort of feedback or improvement. They’d rather be right than do what is best.
Your team may have better solutions, better ideas than you can think of. Don’t discredit them just to show them you’re the one in charge.
Make your principles clear though. You must draw the line somewhere. Let them know where that line is. Set solid boundaries and don’t let people walk all over them...or you.
Hold people accountable but more importantly, hold yourself accountable to those principles.
A Belligerent Boss doesn’t have principles, but has “rules”. Those rules he enforces, he doesn’t seem to apply to himself. He breaks his own rules.This leads to people not respecting him or even taking him seriously at all in some cases.
Even if everyone seems to “follow the rules”, if you don’t abide by them yourself, people may still see you as their boss, but not as someone they actually look up to. They’ll see you as a man (or woman) just trying to control things and put people under control.
Rules, to a Boss, serve no other purpose than to get people to submit. Principles, to a Lazy Leader, on the other hand, are set to show people “the way” -- the way to act, think, and behave; instead of feeling forced to obey, they are inspired to achieve a certain status quo (one you set with your own principles in which you abide by).
You can either be the person people follow orders from or be the person people actually want to be like. Lead by example. Abide by your principles, make them clear, and others will follow.
Be sure to also EXPLAIN the reason behind your decisions and principles. Don’t just say “this is how you do it. No exceptions.”
People should understand WHY you have your principles and WHY you made the decision you did. Taking the attitude of “well that’s the way it is” is just assholish and people will rarely respect your decision. They may “go along” with it just because ya know, you’re their boss and all, but secretly detest everything about it (and about you as a person too).
That creates a hostile environment full of resentment. All of which can be avoided by being honest and upfront about your decision making process to begin with.
Take it easy
Relax. Control your emotions.
Things might get stressful, but you don’t have to stress out. Take a step back, procrastinate, and make a rational decision before jumping up to do something on instinct.
To a Belligerent Boss, every unexpected stress becomes an EMERGENCY. It’s a major problem. A crisis. It’s a reason to yell, scream, or otherwise shout in an uncontrolled manner. It’s a reason to act out belligerent and be “on edge” for a while.
Funny how the one who wants to be in control the most is usually the most out of control when things get hectic.That’s because they can’t control the one thing that’s actually under their control -- themselves and their own emotions.
Focus on what you can control, rather than trying to control external circumstances beyond...your control.
To a Lazy Leader though, problems are nothing but opportunity.
It’s an opportunity to test your ability to adapt and go with the flow, to remain steady with poise and grace, and lead your team to victory.
Guide. Don’t preach
Be a teacher, not a boss. Inspire, don’t command.
Don’t place yourself on an almighty throne, seeking favors from others. Instead join the rally of the peasants and march them (slow n’ steady) towards that awesome vision of yours.
You want people to feel like they’re an important part of something bigger, not just a replaceable cog in the machine. Make them feel like an actual person, not just a work schelepper.
Calmly,. Gently, guide them in the right direction, without overly demanding a set of rules and practices. You want to be able to “sell” an idea to them, rather than tell them to accept a certain idea.
People are motivated to do something when they believe it was their own choice that lead them to do it, as opposed to just being told to do it that way.
Just get it done...eventually
Deadlines, due dates, schedules. Those are all tools of a Belligerent Boss. A Lazy leader, on the other hand just does it...eventually.
Let them do the work from home. Let them leave early. Shit man, as long as it gets done, who cares?
There’s no need to set a firm schedule , telling ‘em when to eat, when to work, when to freaking take a piss.
Obviously, you don’t want people taking advantage of this rather lax schedule to the point where things NEVER get done, but to imply that it’s necessary to plan the workflow down to the very minute is just ludicrous.
Fail, but don’t give up.
Failure is inevitable. No one runs the perfect business and you aren’t going to either. Accept it. Get used to it. Mistakes are Meh.
Failure sucks, but it’s not the end of the world. You live, you learn. Life goes on.
A Belligerent Boss will scrutinize everyone, pointing out what they did wrong. A Lazy Leader will ask: What can we do better?
Failure is just a nudge to make improvements.
Remember, everyone working for you is an idiot...and so are you!
Everyone’s learning. We’re all idiots.
No one knows it all. No one is capable of doing it all, creating it all, being it all. In some way or another, every person is an idiot.
Even the brightest out there still have much room to learn, much room for improvement. In some way or another, you are an idiot.
The amount of human knowledge that exists is impossible to know single handedly.
Learn from others as much as they learn from you. It’s a collaborative team project to grow and become slightly less of an idiot every day.
To a Belligerent Boss, all that matters is the Bottom Line. To a Lazy Leader, all that matters is the Top of the Mountain.
Managers are so dead set on profiting what’s inside their wallet.
Profit, to a Lazy Leader, is just a byproduct of achieving a worthy vision. They’re always climbing up to the top, like a sloth on a tree.
Managers couldn’t care less about growth, unless there’s a dollar sign next to it.
Ultimately, it’s up to you to choose how to influence others. You have to ask yourself what’s important, what are you actually set out to accomplish.
Is it monetary? Or are there deeper intrinsic values?
Is it getting your way? Or earning respect?
Do you want people to fear you or love you?
As always, I hope you take the lazy path to make your life not only easier, but more fulfilling and meaningful.