Do you think you are the “World’s Best Boss”, as does Michael Scott on NBC’s “The Office”? Well, we all know he’s probably closer to the world’s worst boss than the best.
Take a look at the following 10 leadership traits you surely do not want to have:
# 1. You cannot hire and keep talented people
The ability to continually hire and inspire talented people is a trait that separates great managers from mediocre and not-so-great ones. It’s simple, really – motivated people want to join motivated businesses, and furthermore, they want to stay there only if they are contributing to the business (or perhaps, to the world) in a meaningful way. Hence, you must be able to convince hirees that your business is on a path for greatness, and it’s their hard that will lead you there.
# 2. You are not a consensus-builder
Building consensus behind a project or idea is integral to seeing it move forward. You will need the support and backing of your entire team for an idea to come to fruition, and if you cannot get everyone to put their egos aside and come together for the sake of the company, the project will fail before it even begins. The best managers are able to convince a group of people with different ideas and opinions to come together and back a single, viable idea. It’s not enough to get 99% backing; you literally need everyone on board. Ideas are very fragile at the start, so you will need to protect and nurture them. You must actively seek out those who does not believe in the project wholeheartedly and then reassign them to a different project or let them go.
# 3. You do not follow through on your plans and goals
Great leaders have that “killer instinct”; they are able to plan effectively and then execute on that plan, all the way to its completion. You must not be dissuaded by critics who deem the project unworthy or distracted by other projects, as is often the case when plans take a long time to complete. More than likely, you will assign hardworking and talented people to work on this project, and these people are counting on you to make sure their project sees the light of day. Imagine the kind of dissatisfaction you would feel if you worked on a project for a long period of time, only to see it scratched right at the end. You owe it to the hard work of your employees to see the project through.
# 4. You cannot articulate a vision of the future
Another great leadership trait is the ability to clearly articulate a vision for the company’s future. You must be confident and passionate about where the company is going, but you must also be able to articulate it in a way that is easy for the entire company to understand and remember. Great leaders speak about their business straight from the heart, with simplicity and honesty, and continue to reiterate their vision any chance they get. You must make sure your vision is embedded in the minds of your employees, that they understand it clearly, and that they too truly believe in it.
# 5. You hate change
Great leaders do not sit still, even if (and especially if) the company is doing really well. They are continually pushing for better processes and results, and the only way to do this is to accept that companies change. Now, there’s a distinction between those who like change for change’s sake and those who like change because change is needed. You need not change things that are imbedded deep within your business, like your company’s core values and beliefs. Instead, view change as another word for progress; and progress is vital to the survival of any business.
# 6. You expect too much or too little from your employees
Talented people want to be challenged because they have an innate desire to accomplish great things. It is crucial that you are able to assign your best employees to tasks that will push them to accomplish things they didn’t know they were capable of doing. Needless to say, this will help your employees grow from a personal and professional standpoint, but it will also yield great dividends for your business. On the other end of the spectrum, it is also important that you assign people to tasks that can actually be accomplished, or else you risk deflating the morale of your employees and wasting a lot of your own time.
# 7. You do not acknowledge and reward good work
It is important for managers to publicly recognize the good work of employees for several reasons. First, it will let the rewarded employees know that their work is appreciated and it will give them the confidence to continue the good work. Secondly, it will let other employees know the kind of effort that is required to get recognized, and this will push them to work even harder, and as a result, your entire company will benefit.
# 8. You do not listen to your employees concerns
Another important characteristic of great leaders is the ability to really listen to what their employees are saying. If your employees disagree with your vision of the future or a certain project or task, listen to them with an open mind and open heart. Listening to your employees can tell you much about your business, so it’s important to put your ego aside and look into the criticism.
# 9. You do not think about the long-term
There may be nothing that turns off an employee more than having a short-sighted boss. Employees want to be confident and even excited about the long-term prospects of the company, and they won’t be that unless their bosses invest in those prospects. Rather than worry yourself with trivial details that will only affect the current month or quarter, think about the long-term health and future of your business. Tell your employees that you really care about the company’s long-term future. Your employees will really appreciate this.
# 10. You do not care enough about the business
Another pet-peeve that employees have is that their bosses care too little or none at all about the business. How can someone care enough to give 100% effort when they know that their direct superior does not share the same enthusiasm? Great bosses love their business. They work hard because to see their business succeed and their passion for the business is unsurprisingly spread to the rest of the employees in the company.
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