In a previous post, we discussed the different leadership styles and the importance of choosing one that fits your personality as well as your team's dynamics. However, it is important to talk about the signs of a bad leader.
Being a manager, a boss, having people under your wing, does not come easy for everyone. That is why it not strange to find people in these positions that make mistakes that are costly to entire organizations. Identifying you or someone in your team is not an optimal leader, is rather simple. And as it's easy to spot, it's something we can definitely fix.
We have all been there, literally. And this is fundamental to perform as an optimal leader. We have to be able to put ourselves in someone else's shoes. If we are unable to be empathic then we will unlikely be considered a good leader. Whenever we are deciding for our team, we should always consider their points of view and the way our decisions are going to affect them.
If a leader fails to be attentive to what their team members need, then they will most likely fail at developing engagement in their team. As humans, we tend to be egotistical and always look after our own benefit. However, when dealing with teams and working for an organization we should always look for what is beneficial for everyone. For what suffices our needs as teams. A bad leader is unable to wear someone else's shoes, hence people will not wear the shirt under bad leadership.
Is not about being brave, valiant, and courageous. Fear is a basic emotion for organisms with a nervous system. Fear of change is very normal. So, do not feel ashamed or belittled if you have felt this way. The problem arises when this fear has the wrong consequences. Such as blocking ourselves, the team, and the organization from changing and progressing just to not get out of our comfort zone.
Making decisions is a fundamental task for someone in a leadership position, and if we are not able to make these decisions out of fear of changing, then we might be stopping progress. When we are sure of the decisions we are making, even if they are difficult, we communicate this confidence to our team. If we are not able to adapt to change, then we will fall behind and we will not be trusted. A bad leader will get stuck in a fear of change state of mind and not move forward with the right and needed decisions.
And this is completely related to the previous point. Even if our leadership style is not authoritative, we need to be able to stand behind our decisions. If we give in, then we may not be able to reach our goals as a team. It is okay if we want to avoid conflict, however, we cannot mistake negotiating our decisions with giving in. We give in when we renounce our decisions even if they are the most logical and beneficial for our teams and the company. And we renounce them because it's what makes us comfortable of what makes us think everyone would like us.
Just like we should not give in to our decisions, we should also not impose them. Authoritative leadership may work for some teams, however, being authoritative does not always translate to being a strong leader. When dealing with teams we should always remember that we are dealing with human beings and that everyone is different. And most of the time the "things are done my way" approach is not effective.
One thing is influencing other people and making decisions for our teams, and something completely different is to pull our whip and start whipping everyone for them to work our way. There is a fine line between being disciplined and stern and being pressuring and inconsiderate.
Regardless of it being a small or big decision. You have to be able to make fast decisions. Be undoubtful of your choices because doubt brings uncertainty and a lack of confidence. But may also give others a sign of you not apt for the role.
Is not about taking the decisions as fast as possible, but informing yourself of the different outlets and options, possible mistakes, and analyze the big picture. And then with all this information, make the decision. This way we will do what we want, and what is best for our team and our organization.
Sometimes we start working with intact groups and it's only natural if we do not know them deeply or enough. However, we need to take our time to analyze and learn about them so we can establish what the best leadership style and approach would be. Generate rapport with each of our team members.
I have said it before we are all human and different, and even inside a team, we may need to have different approaches with the different team members. So, we should, as leaders, be able to establish the best way to work with each of the members of our team.
If we do not know our team, our decisions will most likely not be lined up with them. Our decisions may affect them and there are probabilities of them not generating engagement with our leadership style. Hence, not delivering effectively and not reaching the company's goals.
Sometimes when we land a leadership position, we will be able to form a team. And that is okay as long a the individuals we choose are competent professionals that can perform their jobs accordingly. The biggest mistake would be to choose people just because we like them on a personal level or because they are our friends, knowing they are not good performers.
We should always form our work teams with people that will assist us in achieving our goals and objectives. If we don't have an objective perspective when choosing the people we will be working with, then we should pass this task to our superiors for them to choose the right people.
As a leader, you need to be able to trust your team and their ability to perform their job well or better than you. Otherwise, you will end up with everyone else's jobs. We all have different skills and characteristics and as leaders we need to be able to delegate tasks to our teams, having in mind the strengths of each member.
We need to be able to know who is the best option for the different things that need to be done in a team, this way goals are accomplished more effectively and in a timely manner.
Now that you are familiar with the types of leadership and their importance, as well as how to spot a bad leader. In a future post, we will be further discussing the consequences of having a bad leader in your organization.