If you’ve ever worked in organizations where people were working in silos, you know how counterproductive it can be. In organizations like this, rather than working together to create synergy, team members work against each other with the aim of optimizing their own interest, at the cost of significantly sub-optimizing the interests of the organization as a whole. And since even those working toward their own ends are part of that whole, by pursuing their own interests they are also paradoxically working against them at the same time.
The best leaders I’ve been exposed to are the ones who practice situational leadership. They don’t treat everyone the same or communicate in exactly the same way with everyone, instead they get to know people, gauge situations, and tailor their approach to the person and situation they are working with. Interestingly, the worst leaders do exactly the same thing… The difference is that great leaders operate based on a strong set of principles and remain true to those as they adapt to different situations and audiences, and therefore are perceived as and respected for their consistent leadership. The worst kind of leaders, on the other hand, simply make opportunistic decisions based on what’s best for them individually, or for the few people they need to keep happy to push their agenda. The former commands respect even if people disagree with their ideas, but the hypocrisy practiced by the latter makes one wonder if those who support them are actually oblivious of what is going on or are just turning a blind eye because they see something in it for themselves.