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JAMES WILSON

Blog/leadership/4 Signs You're A Chronic Leader

4 Signs You're A Chronic Leader

Wednesday, May 17, 2023

Do you have problems in your business that rarely go away? Are you sick and tired of the “advice” your team offers to fix the problem? If you answered yes, you might be a Chronic leader. Don’t leave just yet! Let me explain.

Earlier in my leadership journey, I often pushed my agenda. My team had different personalities that I ignored. Usually, I would say something I thought was right and double down on my answer, which would hurt our progress. To me, my thoughts were innocent and meant to inspire.

To my team, my demeanor was aggressive. Sadly, I did not listen to advice and continued this Chronic behavior in my leadership. Merriam-Webster defines Chronic as “continuing or occurring again and again for a long time.

I was a Chronic leader because I neglected advice and did not learn from my experience. I was pushing my vision at the expense of hurting others again and again for a long time. In his book People Fuel, Dr. Josh Townsend describes the seven “C’s” of relationships.

One relationship that is the most draining is being in a relationship with a Chronic person. In leadership, you can drain your team because of your negative outlook on life and stubbornness to change.

Here are four signs you may be a Chronic leader:

1. Your Problems Rarely Go Away - You are a Chronic leader if your problems stack up like building blocks. Since Chronic leaders do not initiate problem-solving, they experience a continuous valley of issues with little relief.

2. You Have a Flat Learning Curve - If you have stopped learning, you are a Chronic leader. Conflict resolution and communication skills are essential. Your learning curve is flat because you see no value in changing yourself. You let experiences pass you by instead of learning and growing from them.

3. You Neglect Advice from Your Team - You are a Chronic leader if you view your team’s advice as annoying. You neglect to give them space to share what you did and how it made them feel. You don’t need their “advice” because you think you are an expert.

4. You Refuse to Change - You are a Chronic leader if you refuse to change your ways. You are comfortable with who you are and how you have always done things. There is no reason for you to change because you are not the problem. Your team needs to change because you think they are the problem. You want them to turn into whom you want them to be and do what you want them to do.


With problems stacking up, a flat learning curve, neglecting advice, and refusing to change, a Chronic leader drains the life out of teams. After discovering how my actions of ignoring my team drained them, I made changes. Townsend calls this the “Comrade” relationship because both parties tell each other the truth and desire mutual improvement.

You CAN overcome being a Chronic leader and become a Comrade. When you do, your leadership becomes more infectious, live-giving, and enjoyable for the people around you.