As an executive coach, I do a lot of listening to managers worried about losing good employees. People-oriented managers understand what they need to do to get the best out of people. I'm not concerned about them.
I am concerned about managers being promoted into leadership roles when they have no business being there. Leadership is demonstrated through competence, not attitude, confidence, or charisma. It takes ability and skills.
That's why the single biggest decision any organization will make is whom they name manager. When you name the wrong person manager, nothing fixes that bad decision.
We've all heard this tune play like a broken record: People leave managers, not companies.
So what have I seen over the course of 20 years that proves, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that someone is not fit to lead?
1. Managers who look after only themselves
These managers aren't concerned with fulfilling the company mission or aligning team goals to organizational objectives. It's about their individual performance and getting that annual bonus. Managers with this attitude are playing for the name on the back of the jersey and are concerned only about their own accomplishments and how they look to their superiors.
2. Narcissistic tendencies
This manager often belittles a team member's work and might even ridicule staff at meetings. When he needs something from you, he may become threatening. At his most toxic, he will make you doubt yourself and your ultimate value to the company.
3. Treating people like numbers
In top-down power structures, employees are considered to be objects or expenses rather than assets; there is little concern for their happiness or well-being since the motive for hiring them was purely productivity and profit. In these pressure-cookers, there's little evidence of leaders displaying compassion and empathy in seeing employees as valued human beings. As a result, you'll encounter high levels of stress, turnover, absenteeism, and burnout.
4. Too much control
The work environment is overbearing and stifling because managers want control over all decisions. Such managers distrust the team, so tasks rarely get delegated to others. There's hardly room for group discussion or input because the management style is autocratic, which limits creativity and the team's desire to learn new things.
5. Taking the spotlight from the team
The team puts together a wonderful product and the client is happy with the results. And then it happens: The manager takes all the credit. No praise for the team, no celebration of everyone's success, no recognition of team members for their contributions. This type of manager will steal the light and thunder away from the team, which is a total employee-engagement killer.