I came across this quote today: "People come for great vision and leave for poor leadership."
It made me think of all the times when I've stepped into a company as a leadership and brand consultant and my job was to identify how to fix the brand (a.k.a. the business).
My co-founder Ashleigh and I go in like Sherlock Homes and Dr. Watson, two non-assuming detectives with a wildly unorthodox approach. We investigate, probe, ask rhetorical questions, and comb the details for any clue. We don't have to do much investigating outside the building because it's clear to us it's an in-house job.
If you find yourself complaining that your people don't know what they're doing, don't put in any extra effort, have low energy, don't reach their goals, or generally aren't invested in the work, it's time to wake up and look at yourself. I'll make this short and sweet. They are not the problem -- you are.
Poor performance of a team (or a brand or a company) often points to poor performance of the leadership. When you behave in ways that make your employees think you don't care, it makes your employees not care. Carelessness breeds carelessness.
Nothing will get you further away from reaching your goals and dreams than to make people feel like cogs in your machine, instead of the champions you need to get where you need to go.
Here Are 11 Signals You're Sending That Demonstrate Careless Leadership:
- You're too busy to meet with people in person or you constantly reschedule on them.
- You make decisions out of your own stubbornness without regard for how those decisions will effect people when they trickle down.
- You make everything urgent, and you don't give people the time and resources they need to do good work.
- You give no sense of purpose or vision, so your employees don't know what they should care about and why.
- You provide a physical work environment that is messy, stale, generic, or dated, which makes going to work depressing.
- You get defensive with anyone on your team who challenges your ideas.
- You tell your employees to figure it out on their own when it's clear they need your help.
- You don't celebrate accomplishments and milestones.
- You never validate anyone by saying thank you for a job well done.
- All you care or talk about is hitting goals and numbers.
- You fail to see how the business operates in the eyes and shoes of the people beneath you.
Former Navy commander Captain Michael Abrashoff said, "A careless leader can wreak havoc on an organization, destroying unity and disgusting employees to the point where they start hiding from the turmoil, biding their time till they can escape to another job." If you're doing any of the things in the list, stop and evaluate how you're affecting your team. It takes a mature leader to admit wrongdoing and make lasting changes that demonstrate genuine care.