Smart companies know that the x-factor to success starts with great leadership. Systems, products, services and branding count, but when there’s no one to drive the massive vehicle of business properly, a crash is soon to come.
Oddly enough, leadership has been under fire, especially in America. Last year, Forbes’ Steve Denning openly questioned leadership and our ability to compete internationally when he said, “What sort of ‘management’ is it where the quality of management is strong and improving and yet firms can’t compete internationally?”
When firms are falling behind in the global competition, hundreds of billions of dollars are potentially lost annually. Effective leadership couldn’t be a more important to our businesses at this critical time period.
Successful entrepreneurs like Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos, Angela Ahrendts and Reed Hastings have been able to identify problems and make integral changes to ensure their company’s massive success. But it isn’t always what they’re doing as much as it is what they are not doing.
Consider these five bad traits you may need to terminate:
- Lacking Vision
A leader should be able to clearly communicate what the goal is to their team. Without a clear vision of what the future is supposed t look like, the team is a rudderless boat in a murky river. Furthermore, great leaders operate on probability instead of possibility. Leaders not only show their team the vision, but break down the strategies, tactics and processes necessary to reach those goals. Identifying company habits and boosting morale in order to life the team’s level of belief is how the leader can help turn that vision into a reality.
- Not Communicating
Show me a poor leader, I’ll show you a poor communicator. If a leader can’t articulate goals or objectives properly, the team will suffer. Moreso, if they are afraid to ask questions or say the unpopular and unpleasant messages needed, that leader is falling short and letting their team down.
Leaders should feel comfortable communicating through different channels, whether they are email, phone conferencing, speeches or one-on-one meetings. They should follow the 70/20/10 rule in conversations: 70 percent listening to others, 20 percent asking questions and following up, and 10 percent summarizing the information.
- Intimidating People
You may think that intimidation creates more production, but your employees will eventually resent you. And usually, if employees begin to resent working for you, they will start to resent their work. This is an easy gateway for decreased morale and high turnover rates. A leader who is constantly threatening to fire people over work that doesn’t meet their standards, embarrassing them for their performance, or criticizing the personal habits or employees can create a negative work environment.
Instead, take the time to teach your employees what is necessary and help them reach their goal within the company’s philosophy.
- Micromanaging Others
You can’t help but to do everything yourself. You claim that you can’t trust any of your employees. You criticize all of their work. You can’t trust anyone with any responsibility. Expect your team members to resent you.
Effective leaders are secure enough in themselves to give control over to others and empower their team. Leaders do an excellent job of building the leadership in others and allowing employees to find their footing with tasks and responsibilities.
- Blaming Others
One of the worst traits a leader can have is not taking responsibility. Great leaders don’t admonish or blame others for failure to reach the goal. That doesn’t mean a leader should ignore a team member who isn’t performing or even firing an employee he’s totally lost trust in. Fantastic leaders teach team members to help them learn from their failures.
How do we lead for the future?
Understand that smart leaders know that the external rewards are rare and do not truly satisfy you. Awards and speeches are nice, but that’s not enough. Similarly, money alone is not enough to make people want to come in and work hard in business and entrepreneurship. If you don’t truly enjoy what you’re doing, you will probably not find the happiness and fulfillment you’re seeking.
Finding your values and aligning them with your work is part of the foundational processes of becoming an excellent leader. Allowing others to help you in the process of realizing your vision what comes after. Always seek to improve and learn from your mistakes. Great leaders always find solutions.
Russel Cooke is a business writer who lives in Los Angeles, CA
“Leadership” courtesy of digitalart/ www.freedigitalphotos.net