According to Linsky and Heifetz, the ‘masks’ danger can present itself in are:
Leaders should endeavour to orchestrate conflict – that is, managing the range of different interests – rather than embodying it. The authors warn that becoming the embodiment of an issue under your authority is dangerous, as it ties not only a leader’s success, but very survival, to that issue.
Been promoted unexpectedly? Had some enjoyable or important tasks handed to you? Finding yourself lost in others’ demands? Take pause and consider whether this is a tactic to divert you from addressing an uncomfortable issue.
An attack on the person with the message wastes the currency of leadership – attention. Linsky and Heifetz note that no one criticises when you have good news or rewards, they do so when they don’t like the message: