Stop These Bad Leadership Behaviors Now!
Is your boss a rude know-it-all? Does he love the sound of his own voice? Does she insist on round-the-clock access? Lists of good leadership behaviors are everywhere. Without doubt, modeling good leadership behavior is important. Sometimes, though, we need to call out the bad behaviors. No matter your title or job level, if you are doing any of these bad leadership behaviors, you are not a leader.
Do you always claim to have been THE problem solver, the one person who made it all come out right? No matter what you think, it’s not about you. Leadership means giving credit to your team. It’s part of the unspoken deal between leaders and their teams: the leader gives the team credit for successes, and the team makes the leader look good.
Always knowing everything
Do you frequently say ‘I knew that’ and ‘of course, that’s obvious!’ Really? No one is that brilliant. Everyone knows that you are faking it. In fact, it’s better to admit when you don’t know: it keeps you from making foolish mistakes. As you move up the ladder, particularly into general management, you will manage people who know more about a topic than you do. That’s a privilege, not a threat. Good leaders know this and use the gaps in their knowledge to learn and to showcase their team members’ abilities.
Talking more than listening
An old saying says that people have two ears and one mouth for a reason; they should be used accordingly. Sitting at the head of the table is not an excuse to dominate the conversation. Leaders who talk all the time are forgetting that leadership is not about them; it’s about getting the work done well.
You have 2 ears and one mouth. Use them accordingly!
Demanding 24-hour work days
In these days of constant connectivity, it’s easy to fall into the trap of always working, and always expecting your team to work too. Stop now. Your team is not impressed, and you are setting a lousy impression. Everyone has a life, beyond the office. Unless there is a genuine, life-threatening emergency, it can wait until the next day. Oh, and that request for a change to the font in your presentation? That is not a life-threatening emergency.
Every society has basic standards for treating one another with respect. In the workplace, blatant rudeness is inexcusable. Even if you are a CEO, your wants, needs, or wishes, are no more important than anyone else’s. Shouting, cutting people off, neglecting to say thank you, treating employees like personal servants…all are impolite and examples of poor leadership.
You can do better
Anyone can fall into the trap of these behaviors, especially if they are a normal part of their work environment. Real leadership means monitoring yourself for these behaviors, and not doing them. Take the challenge, and start being a better leader today.