You have systems in place to monitor employee work output. You track time on the job, projects done, sales, etc.
Employees are watching you, too. They are evaluating you. They are determining what kind of leader you are.
It’s common knowledge that people leave their jobs mostly because of issues they have with their boss. Good employees are usually the first ones to leave as they know their value and won’t take the grief. Your lack of leadership skills is causing good people to leave, and you aren’t getting it.
Millennials are even less inclined to put up with bad leaders. They saw their parents complain about them yet stay in their jobs because of the money. Your lack of leadership skills is having a large impact on your organization.
Employees today demand more of their leaders and technical expertise is not at the top of the wish list.
Employees want to know how they, and their roles, connect to the greater mission and they want to see how they can contribute more. Leaders, at all levels, are the conduits for that to happen.
So, what do your employees HATE to see in leaders?
- Leaders who are regularly late to meetings and aren’t really present when in the meeting.
Such leaders, whether consciously or unconsciously believe their time in more valuable than others will be regularly late to meeting. They won’t apologize often and will have excuses for why they are late. Added onto this, they don’t commit themselves to being a part of what’s in front of them, like they’d rather be somewhere else. This behavior shows an inability to manage time and to respect others. Such leaders are focused on putting out fires and checking off boxes than seeing forward.
- Those who argue their position and makes certain others know they’re right.
This leader see himself as an expert in many areas. That’s why he’s the boss. There’s an interesting article from the Institute of Coaching about the Expert’s Dilemma. This behavior occurs, generally, because the leader wants to move through things quickly, has an ego which has a hard time being questioned or is just clueless. Regardless, employees don’t feel valued or empowered. They express their ideas less and search for ways out.
- They always say it’s someone else’s fault.
An interesting post from the head of Dale Carnegie in the Upper Midwest, Matt Norman, talks about having an external or internal locus of control. Those with an external locus act and talk as though outside factors are causes of certain events while an internally-focused person looks at oneself. People are pretty perceptive and notice when someone can’t acknowledge when they’ve made mistakes and need to adjust. These leaders are seen as egotistical and out of touch with reality. Growth stagnates under such leaders, but the poor leader will blame others rather than looking inward.
- Those who don’t take the time to get to know the person.
Of the four items in this list, this is probably the least important. However, if leaders aren’t proficient in the first three areas, this is a strong additive force against the leader. In fact, if the bad leader takes time to get to know an employee personally, but stinks at the other areas, the effort is seen as superficial – like this activity was something on their list to check off. Good leaders that are solid in the other areas will naturally look to develop deep connections with employees so they can see how they can serve.
Correcting these leadership barriers takes a few things. Matt, in his blog, discusses his process over the years. Usually, it takes a recognition of the issue. Then, it’s humility to see how it’s harming you, those around you and your organization. Then, it requires action, usually with a guide to help you see things you might not and keep you practicing skills towards proficiency. Then, it’s consistent, intentional work to become better.
The result of such efforts will be less turnover, more alignment to mission and vision, better performance and more fun for you.
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