Leadership Lessons From A Recovering Jerk - Pegine

Leadership Lessons From A Recovering Jerk

Leadership is not easy, in fact, developing yourself as a leader is a long-term process. During that process, you will be a jerk. Being a jerk creates problems. Being a jerk means that you have some growing to do you need leadership lessons. Knowing you are a jerk is a gift. That is when the transformation can happen. The transformation from being a jerk to being a leader people love to follow is possible.

I was a jerk, now I am not, it took time.

Jerks have been my bosses, superiors, and leaders.

They were awful and the consequences of them being jerks lost their companies a lot of money and many great employees.

Stop being a jerk, start the transformation, here is how!

1- Threatening an employee with severe consequences before they are even hired.

Yes, I was the jerk boss who said: “If you ever go behind my back or are disloyal to me I will fire you.” What an idiot I was. The new hire never showed up to work, surprise! I watched too many TV dramas and reality shows that said that was how successful bosses acted.

Leadership Lessons learned:

a- If I think someone lacks integrity, don’t hire them.

b- You want people to want to work with you, be supportive, positive and uplifting. Build them up, do not tear them down.

2- Being angry and lashing out.

Yes, I was a jerk boss who lashed out and was known to be livid. I even threw a box at a wall. My dedicated assistant was almost hit. I am forever ashamed of that display of behavior. I almost hurt someone I really adored and admired.

Leadership Lessons learned:

a- Learn to control your emotions. If you aren’t happy and joyous something needs to change in you. If you are having thoughts that bring you down, don’t blame others, they are your thoughts. Work on yourself to be in a positive, optimistic frame of mind. It has nothing to do with them. It has everything to do with your thoughts.

b- Be humble, vulnerable, and apologetic. Sometimes we behave in a way that is not in our highest best interest. Step back, own up and take responsibility.

3- Trusting the flash, the flair and someone else.

I hired a consultant. A flashy, slick person with glossy materials and reputation. I trusted their expertise. I did not call all my connections to find out if he was legit. I would have learned important information. Instead, I was a jerk and fell for the flair. He convinced me to let go of an employee. I was convinced that I should let go a key employee. My gut told me different. In fact, my gut was screaming don’t do this. I didn’t listen and trusted the consultant. Bad decision. I paid a hefty price for letting go of this particular employee for years. I also learned how wrong the consultant was on many things. I let him go. By the way, the employee knew this guy was a jerk. Great employees know jerks when they see them.

Leadership Lessons learned:

a- Listen to high-value employees. They often see things with more objectivity. Bring them into high value and high-risk decision discussions. You can’t know everything, they often have valuable insights.

b- Call lots of people about your insights before you bring on a consultant. Thoroughly investigate your consultants, learn about their reputation and know what they capable and not capable of.


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Pegine is inducted into the Motivational Speaker Hall of Fame, others include Anthony Robbins and Jack Canfield. Her company was named the #3 Fastest-Growing Privately Own Companies in North Florida and she is the 2016 Macy’s Woman Who ROCKS IN BUSINESS!  She is quoted on business and leadership in the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, and Forbes among others.  Be powerful! Be You! Make a positive impact! is Pegine’s call to action. A former Bronx gang member, kicked out of her first high school, keynote speaker, Pegine, is a true American success story.


Posted in Leadership, Self Development, Success on June 4, 2018 by Pegine.

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