Some marvel at the popularity of the Kardashians. But if you understand the data… if you get to the root causal factors of their success the answers are there. Research indicates that a large chunk of today’s society values being famous over all else. To achieve fame one only needs to self-promote and the Kardashians are world-class self-promoters. They definitely lead the world in promotion and to some degree fashion and style. But are they leaders?
No. Leaders are the antithesis of self-promoters. Leadership is not about selfies but about being selfless, it’s about promoting those you lead and not yourself. Unfortunately, some self-promoting, Kardashian-style leaders excel at the art of self-promotion and subsequently get promoted over those true leaders. In a study done forty years ago at the University of Nebraska it was confirmed that successful managers who self-promoted were promoted more often than effective managers who were less political but actually more productive.
The answer once again, goes back to the data…to the root causal factor. You get what you measure, not what you want…and absent effective leadership metrics like retention, performance, trust, integrity, you run the risk of creating a stable of self-promoting, selfie-taking Kardashian leaders. Which is good for those individuals but back for those they ‘lead’ and ultimately bad for your bottom line.
So, if you think you may have Kardashian leaders…look to what metrics you are using to define ‘good’ leadership. The answer is always within…and the solution too!