Conjure up the term “bad boss” and what comes to mind? Scenes of managers, berating subordinates in public or taking credit for other people’s work or saying one thing and doing another Feel free to continue — I’m sure you have more examples.
According to the HBR Blog post Are You Sure You’re Not a Bad Boss?, “Our research suggests that the offensive actions so often associated with being a bad boss make up less than 20% of the behavior that actually defines the worst bosses.”
They found, after analyzing the behavior of 30,000 managers as seen through the eyes of some 300,000 of their peers, direct reports, and bosses – that the sins of the bad boss are far more often not the appalling things they do; rather it’s the critical things they don’t do.
Here Are Six Fatal Sins of Bad Bosses:
Failure to walk the talk. Saying one thing and doing another is the fastest way to lose the trust and credibilityof those you lead. The worst offenders here also pose a wider threat as dangerous role models. employees take our cues from those who lead them. And soon they will no longer walk their talk.
A lack of clear vision and direction. Poor leaders have a murky view of the future. They don’t know precisely what direction to take and are usually unwilling to communicate about the future, leaving their people with no clear path to move forward. A lack of clarity leads to confusion and poor results.
Failure to improve and learn from mistakes. Arrogance and complacency combine in the poorest leaders as they rise, causing them to come to the dangerous conclusion that they’ve reached a stage in their careers where development is no longer required. This leads unfortunately to repeating the same mistakes over and over.
An inability to collaborate and be a team player. Poor leaders avoid their peers, act independently, fail to develop positive relations with colleagues. The worst of them view work as a competition and their colleagues as opponents.
Failure to appreciate new ideas or different ways to do things. Whether stemming from a lack of imagination or simply too closed a mind-set, suggestions from their people and peers were often ignored or worse criticized. Resistance to change will eventually lead to stagnation, then decline and ultimately demise.
Ignoring mediocre performance instead of dealing with it. The poorest leaders inadvertently encourage unacceptable performanceby letting people coast along doing less work and less well than their counterparts working for better managers. This can bring down the morale of the entire team.
Smart Moves Tip:
Do you exhibit any of these fatal sins? You could be traveling down this road right now with no hint that anything’s amiss. No hint, that is, unless you take the time to consider not just what kind of a leader you are, but what kind you don’t want to be.
Have you seen or experienced other fatal sins of bad bosses? Please share your thoughsts!
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If you do what you always did, you will get what you always got. Therefore, MOVE outside of your comfort zone; that’s where the MAGIC happens.” To bring that magic to your leadership and business, subscribe to Marcia’s monthly Execubrief: Business Edge- Smart Growth Strategies with insights, intelligence and inspiration on how to build great businesses that matter- those that do well and do good.
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