Bad people aren’t successful leaders. They may receive the credit, accept the accolades, and take the promotions when their work goes well – but eventually, their underwhelming people skills will ruin their chances at long-term success. At that crash point, bad bosses will have to take up the less glamorous responsibility of leadership: shouldering a crippling share of blame when their work falls flat.
Poorly managed business campaigns can prove devastating to a would-be leader’s career, and often result from a manager’s poor leadership skills. This makes it all the more important for those in management to value the people they lead as individuals, rather than as mere contracted labor.
As Lynn Taylor, an expert in workplace management, explains in an article for Forbes: “[Effective corporate leaders] realize that trusting relationships built on diplomacy and respect are at the heart of both individual success and corporate productivity. An ounce of people sensitivity is worth a pound of cure when it comes to daily human interaction and mitigating conflict.” Unfortunately, the trip into office tyranny can be all too easy for new managers who care too much about productivity and too little about their employees.
As Taylor suggests, successful leaders are good, charismatic, and, above all, thoughtful people. A savvy manager realizes that their behavior sets the standard for office behavior, and has a heavy influence on the productivity and positivity of the working environment. A leader should always keep the following in mind when fostering a positive and productive work environment.
More often than not, employees realize when business is on the rocks and will look to a leader for guidance and security. A good manager is honest, confident in the face of adversity, and approaches looming deadlines and missed targets with a plan for improvement. On the flipside, managers who exude anxiety and snap at their employees create a toxic workplace environment hurt performance and creates stress. To achieve success, leaders must always be levelheaded and aware of their place as a behavior model in the office.
However relieving it might feel in the short term, snapping at employees and displaying uncertainty is never a productive approach to long-term success.
A good boss realizes that employees are people first, and workers second. Leaders must be compassionate and aware that different members of their team will need to be addressed in different ways. For instance, one person may take constructive criticism as validation, while another employee will find that approach demoralizing and stop trying. Figure out how to approach your employees as individuals, then validate the hard work they put in!
Additionally, remember to check in with individual employees if they underperform or seem to be having problems in the office. A bad boss might take an employee to task for not meeting a deadline, only to find out that the worker’s partner had been diagnosed with a serious illness that week. Good leaders proceed thoughtfully, and work with their employees rather than above them.
Moreover, team members will usually work harder and be loyal to leaders who care about them – so be compassionate!
Transparency is at the heart of success. A manager who obscures their plans from their team or forgets to pass along vital information will quickly foster resentment in the office. A good leader is thoughtful and works hard to communicate effectively. Inefficient bosses often attempt to take on extra responsibilities for themselves, refusing to trust their team members with work that could easily be delegated. However, that approach often results with vital tasks being dropped, and produces shoddy work.
Leaders need to trust their teams and share relevant information.
When all’s said and done, being a leader is more than delivering a product. It requires thoughtful consideration of people and feelings, an excellent work ethic, and communication skills. Success may come to thoughtless leaders for a while, but only good people can foster the productive, positive teams necessary to engendering long-term success.