Lack of leadership is becoming a common problem in today’s business environment. For example, many people who were known to possess excellent leadership and management skills simply lost their competitive edge. There are two main reasons behind this.
First, the leaders have grown tired of trying to advance their skills and capabilities. The business world is changing fast and keeping up with everything is indeed a tough task. Second, the leadership strategy may not be the best for the company. For example, employees may prefer to be treated differently.
If a team keeps failing to meet all requirements and accomplish all tasks, an ineffective leadership strategy can easily be the main reason.
Here are eight signs that confirm that your leadership strategy does not work.
- Sign #1: Lack of Good Communication
An effective leader is a good communicator. He or she realizes that communication is an integral cog in any leadership strategy because it contributes to disseminating information and making quality decisions.
According to a recent poll conducted online by Harvard Business Review, 91 percent of U.S. employees perceived communication issues as those capable of dragging leaders down. For example, not recognizing employee achievements was the most important issue that prevented leaders from being effective.
Here is the complete list of issues reported by the participants of the poll:
- Sign #2: Work Enthusiasm Is Nowhere to Be Found
If you notice a lack of enthusiasm among your employees, they are probably not satisfied with your leadership style. Waning enthusiasm can be an outcome of many factors such as ineffective motivation approach and poor communication. Hmm, who is responsible for motivating employees and communicating with them? That’s right, their leader!
Ability to have a positive outlook and belief is one of the most important characteristics of leaders. They must believe in themselves and people they lead in everything they do. That’s why enthusiastic leaders are so successful.
If you’re starting to notice absences and tardiness among your team, it’s a perfect time to consider changing your leadership approach.
- Sign #3: Employees Constantly Fall Short of Expectations
In order for a team to be effective and deliver, leaders provide it with predefined targets. Accomplishing them contributes to the overall goal of the company, so any result is a result. If your team has been consistently falling short of expectations by failing to deliver on goals from leaders, you should be alarmed.
Your leadership strategy might not drive them toward achieving the goals. Ask yourself whether you provided your team with clear directions. They may be confused about what they need to do to accomplish the goals.
- Sign #4: You Tend to Avoid Confrontations
For some leaders, confrontations are an intimidating thing. Naturally, no one wants to be involved in any kind of conflict because good relationships are key to good performance. However, if conflicts occur, shying away from them is also a bad idea.
According to Inc., there could be six negative outcomes, including strained communication, poor productivity, diminishing teamwork, compromised customer experience, departure of the best people, and weakened brand value.
So, by shying away from conflicts and confrontations, you leave unresolved concerns that can grow into bigger issues in the future. It’s better to resolve them sooner than later.
- Sign #5: You are Indecisive Strong decision-making skills and confidence are other critical qualities of good leaders. “Lack of consistency at making decisions will inevitably lead to a mediocre performance of your team because you don’t ensure that the projects are moving in the right direction,” explains Tim O’Neal, an HR professional from Assignment Helper. “As the result, indecisive leadership results in a loss of talent and overall dissatisfaction.”
- Sign #6: You are Scared of Change
In the business environment, changes are unavoidable. They help to make sure the company utilizes the latest approaches and methods to stay competitive on the market. Therefore, these events provide leaders with excellent opportunities to begin a new chapter, which is a good thing.
However, the transition between the chapter is what many leaders are scared of. The process of introducing change and making it routine can be quite painful, so the resistance can be strong.
If this sounds familiar to you, your leadership strategy may not consider change as a driver of competitive advantage. It that’s true, you might be missing big.
- Sign #7: The Team lacks New Ideas
If a team constantly provides a good flow of new ideas, it is a good sign that shows competence, confidence, and professionalism. It also means that they understand the vision of their leader and their own roles in accomplishing that vision.
In case if there is no flow and exchange of new ideas, you as a leader probably failed to form the proper mindset for your team. That’s not a good way to accomplish business goals.
Find out if your team has some confusion about goals and objectives you gave them. Perhaps, their creative and critical thinking process is hindered by poor understanding and lack of communication.
- Sign #8: Team Members Consistently Suffer from Burnout
The common causes of burnout in a workplace include job demands, role conflict, lack of feedback, lack of social support, role ambiguity, lack of appropriate resources, little participation in decision making, and lots of others. Yes, even if some of these causes are present, the employees may experience a serious burnout!
If you do not protect our employees from excessive working, your strategy is doomed. While pushing them to their limits may help you to increase performance in a short-term, the long-term consequences might be critical.
To prevent team burnout, leaders are advised to:
- say no to multitasking
- discuss career growth of their employees regularly
- encourage recharge periods
- provide more positive feedback
- and set a positive example with their own behavior.
For example, a recent study completed by 4A and LinkedIn found that more than 50 percent of people who chose to leave the advertising industry said the main reason was an insufficient opportunity for advancement. So, provide your employees with a true feeling of being valued by providing and discussing career growth opportunities within your organization.
The Bottom Line
Use this article as a guide to checking whether your leadership strategy is appropriate. If you think you’ve found something that could be changed, be sure to make the change as soon as possible! Often, the problem of poor performance may be internal, ie come from leaders.
Have you checked these signs on yourself?