As your business grows, identifying and developing leaders will be critical to sustaining profitability and the positive company culture you worked so hard to establish.
Steer Developing Leaders Away from these 11 Leadership Mistakes – Infographic
It would be wonderful if natural-born leaders grew on trees; however, it’s not usually the case. Developing leaders who have the skills and mindset to help you keep growing your business and preserve the organizational culture and workplace environment you set out to establish will take work.
Even when you identify people with “the right stuff” in terms of raw talent, you may still find it’s necessary to coach them away from less-effective leadership tactics and toward those you want to characterize your business. This Colonial Life infographic, titled Eleven Ineffective Leadership Styles in Business offers a good starting point for you to become aware of signs that may indicate someone isn’t ready to lead or give you insights that can help you avoid leadership mistakes.
Infographic – 11 Ineffective Leadership Styles Developing Leaders Should Avoid
Micro-managers limit employees and themselves. Not only do they inhibit employees who might otherwise step up and exceed expectations, do things better than they would otherwise be done, or offer creative ideas for improving your business, they also spend too much valuable time monitoring the work of others.
2. Completely hands-off management
While micro-managers pay too much attention, it’s also possible for leaders to pay too little attention to the work being done by the staff they’re responsible to lead. When managers are too relaxed, standards often slip, harder-working employees resent less-ambitious co-workers, and it becomes difficult to hold workers accountable.
3. Autocratic management
In an autocracy, employees don’t have the ability to make even basic decisions about how to accomplish their work, which work should be prioritized, or how to spend their time most effectively. It can make top performers who thrive on self-direction run for the nearest exit, demoralize staff, and kill creativity in the workplace.
4. Charge-ahead management
Charge-ahead leaders believe that if they aren’t gaining ground, they’re losing it. This compulsion to move ahead at all costs can leave staff confused about their role in the initiative, demoralized (especially if they haven’t had a chance to buy-in), and precludes the “ah-ha!” moments that come from standing still long enough to analyze performance, make course adjustments, or spot emerging opportunities.
5. Lone wolf management
Similar to autocratic leaders, when developing leaders believe that something won’t be done right if they don’t do it or that they can’t (or shouldn’t) ask others in the organization for help or guidance they may end up trying to do everything themselves. Leaders who feel the need to be completely self-reliant sometimes fail to appreciate how their department’s work is impacting the rest of the organization, and they may also make mistakes that could have been avoided had they took advantage of the collective knowledge in the organization.
“No man is an island,” and new leaders may need to be encouraged to ask questions or ask for help or guidance. They also need to know that asking for help isn’t a sign of weakness, but a sign of maturity. One of the best things you can give developing leaders in your company is a “safe place” where they can be mentored so they can retain a strong leadership role with their direct reports.
6. Dictatorial management
Dictators are extreme autocrats; not only do they insist on work being done the way they want it done, when they want it done, they also believe their decisions should not be questioned. The problem with this leadership style is that it completely eliminates employee buy-in and creativity, which precludes improving efficiency. Top performers are likely to look for greener pastures where they can contribute in a more meaningful way and workers who stay may feel incapable and disconnected, so that when challenges arise the dictator finds they’re in it all alone.
7. Inconsistent management
The inconsistent leader is a nightmare for employees. Not only are they frequently left to figure things out or fend for themselves, they also never know which management personality they’ll be dealing with today. Inconsistent leaders may act like autocrats one day and be absent the next, only to come down with dictatorial force if something goes wrong. They may expect workers to understand and master procedures, processes, and standards on their own and then when that proves not to be the case, decide that they must be uber-strict micro-managers. This schizophrenia is demoralizing and may lead to extreme worker disengagement on the one hand, or mutiny on the other.
8. Mushroom management
Perhaps better described as compartmentalization, the mushroom manager fails to communicate effectively with employees, with the result that they lack important training and knowledge needed to do their jobs well. Not only does this leave employees unsupported, having to figure things out for themselves, it can also lead to serious problems if ignorance results in problems serious enough to sink the ship.
9. Morale-breaking management
Morale busters run a tight ship; so tight, in fact, that there’s no room left to actually enjoy the work at hand. Perhaps afraid that if employees have too much fun that work might suffer, they suck all the positive energy out of the workplace with their critical spirits.
10. Screaming-mad management
Like the inconsistent manager, the screamer leaves employees in the position of not knowing when the hammer might come down on them, hard. Screamers believe that the louder they talk, the more likely people are to listen and respect them. However, the reverse is usually true. If developing leaders show signs that they might try to lead through intimidation, this could be an indication they need more time to mature or might not be right for the job.
11. Seagull management
Seagull managers are largely absent, flying high above until they feel a need to swoop down and scoop up a project or problem. They’re not there to provide training and instruction, nor are they around to give workers constructive criticism or praise. Though they are not necessarily inconsistent or completely hands-off, seagull managers create the same confusion and lack of support.
If you think about some of the best leaders you’ve worked for or around, one of the things that you notice is that they rarely fall into only one management style. Rather, they have the ability to draw from every type of management style and use those tactics which are most appropriate for the situation or for the individual they’re trying to lead.
As you coach developing leaders in your company, it’s important to note that even good leaders may occasionally exhibit ineffective leadership tactics. The more educated and self-aware the leaders in your business become, the more they’ll understand which management tactics are most appropriate for a given situation, and where they might be slipping into less-effective tactics, so they can course-correct.
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Infographic: 11 Ineffective Leadership Styles Developing Leaders Should Avoid via CapitolLife.com