We have all had bad bosses at one time or another. You know, the leaders that make you dread coming into work and are a constant source of your complaints. While you probably were more concerned about how the leader impacted your day-to-day work life, poor leadership is extremely damaging to the entire workforce, and is also pretty costly.
According to a study by The Ken Blanchard Companies, the average organization is losing an amount equal to 7% of its annual sales because of poor leadership. That’s more than a million dollars per year for an organization with $15 million or more in annual sales. Think about it, ineffective leaders create a disengaged workforce, and employees that are not loyal to their job and the company will start looking for new job opportunities. This creates a snowball effect of sorts where companies have to spend time and money fulfilling the vacant roles, and training the new staff members.
Obviously, companies need to break the trend and solve poor leadership issues before it’s too late.
Each situation is different, but it is quite common to see workers promoted to a leadership or management role based on their past accomplishments, rather than leadership potential. As a result, many new leaders and managers lack the practical knowledge of what leadership entails, and struggle unnecessarily in their new role.
Examples of ineffective leaders include a nonexistent vision for the organization and its workers, poor communication skills, and a lack of focus and follow-through.
Now it’s hard to change bad habits overnight, but leaders need to know the areas that are weaknesses and work to improve them. This is where leadership training can prove invaluable. Whether it’s several months of formal training, a two-day management 101 boot camp, or as simple as a peer mentoring program, the most important thing is to realize how even a modest investment in leadership development can pay huge dividends.
Through these programs, leaders can focus efforts on a specific development plan, which may increase their level of success in their position.
Here are some leadership development tips to keep in mind:
•Do not oversell your ideas and contributions.
•Set intermediate goals for fulfilling promises and agreements and inform your coworkers of your progress.
•Build your reputation on actions, not promises.
•Repair perceptions of low dependability and trust by reviewing/discussing your goals and deliverables with your stakeholders. Make certain that your commitments are realistic. Identify and modify any goals that may have unrealistic timelines.
•Take responsibility for your actions. Inform others when you anticipate missing a deadline. Be open, offer solutions/options, and let others know what you have learned from this experience.