Are you a bad manager?
Let’s face it managing and leading a team can be just as challenging as it is rewarding but to be a successful leader and people manager you need to ensure that you are getting the best from the people you are working with, in the first part of this management and leadership series I wanted to share some of the negative traits that poor leaders and bad people managers demonstrate
“People don’t leave companies – they leave poor managers”
When you recruit the right candidate a good leader or people manager will have the right environment in place to be able to provide team members with the autonomy to let them do things their own way to accomplish the project or task, and can provide clear instructions and specifications a people manager that controls every aspect of their job is a massive barrier to a talented employee’s personal growth and success within that organisation.
“It doesn’t make sense to hire smart people and then tell them what to do, we hire smart people so that they can tell us what to do” – Steve jobs
They only provide criticism not support
Now nobody is perfect and there are always areas where we can develop ourselves but a poor manager has the ability to turn an opportunity to support a member of their team and provide valuable feedback into a negative and demotivating experience through criticism, if the person has not performed in a way you had expected, what can be done to help them to learn from the experience in a positive way rather than a negative way?
“Any fool can criticize, condemn and complain and most fools do.”– Benjamin Franklin
Not Communicating Expectations
If you want your team to succeed you have to play a big part in this success and that means being an effective communicator your team needs to have a clear understanding of what success should look like, otherwise, they will almost undoubtedly fall short. Don’t tell them just to do something–tell them WHY they need to do it.
“The art of communication is the language of leadership” – James Humes
Blames the team for failures
One of the things that separates a great leader from a poor manager is accountability a poor manager will blame their team for failures but is only too happy to accept accomplishments and success as their own work, if you are not hitting your goals then more often than not the issue can be traced back to poor management.
“The search for someone to blame is always successful” - Robert Half
They only delegate tasks
Delegation is critical for managers, but bad leaders and poor managers think this means dumping the tasks they don’t want to deal with onto other members of the team. Good leaders delegate responsibility and ownership for tasks.
“No executive has ever suffered because his subordinates were strong and effective.” – Peter Drucker
Micromanagement is the worst form of management if you nitpick everything your staff do you will not get the best from their team, in most cases, micro-managers are poor people managers and they dis-empower staff, stifle opportunity and innovation, and give rise to poor performance.
“The best executive is the one who has sense enough to pick good men to do what he wants doing, and self-restraint to keep from meddling with them while they do it.” - Theodore Roosevelt
They don’t have a defined goal or vision
A great leader always has great vision, a clear focus on where to lead their team, they communicate this positively, clearly and they lead from the front, drive the team forward and work with the team to achieve their goals
“The very essence of leadership is that you have to have vision. You can’t blow an uncertain trumpet.” – Theodore M. Hesburgh
They only think about short-term gains and not long-term results
It’s today, this week, this month or this quarter that concern a bad leader, they lack the long-term vision and rarely understand that anyone can get a sale, it is a little more challenging to secure a long-term customer and build long-term relationships
“A lot of times when you have very short-term goals with a high payoff, nasty things can happen. In particular, a lot of people will take the low road there. They'll become myopic. They'll crowd out the longer-term interests of the organization or even of themselves.” - Daniel H. Pink
They Steal credit
Have you ever had a great idea and shared it with your manager for them to say “that’s good let me think about this” and then a short time afterwards, you find your idea has been actioned and used and of course hijacked by a bad manager, you get swept aside whilst they bask in the light of success and barely acknowledges your contribution.
“One can steal ideas but no one can steal execution or passion” – Tim Ferriss
They are unable to get the best from people
One of the biggest differences between a poor manager and a great leader is their ability to get the best from the people within their team, they understand how they work, what will drive and motivate them and also what will demotivate them, how to communicate with them and how to lead and manage them
“The speed of the team is the speed of the team” – Lee Iacocca