What to look for and what to run from
Most of us have experienced good, bad and ugly leaders. As an Executive Coach, I’ve seen my share of all three – always wishing the last two categories had never happened.
But they did, and most times I have been able to help them. Unlike a professional coach, though, most employees only get to work for one or two leaders (although this is changing fast). So here is a Ready Reference to figure out who is in your corner office.
A good manager is either a natural or has had training with a coach or a mentor. They’ve conquered their ego allowing them to empower their employees. He/she leaves you excited and inspired about doing your work.
Good managers share the big picture and ask their teams how to go about achieving their goals rather than telling them what to do. They trust their employees and if not, let them go rather than create havoc for everyone else. Most importantly, a good manager knows how to truly listen.
A bad manager is lost, doesn’t know how to communicate in an empowering way and does not know how to inspire others to do their best. He/she is intimidated by good employees, doesn’t know how to let go, delegate, allow the team to use their strengths, pull together as a unit and complement each other with their best skills.
Bad managers have often been promoted from within because of their technical knowledge and do not possess many people skills. Most importantly, a missing critical skill is how to truly listen.
The ugly manager is insecure, micromanages, bullies, gossips and does anything within his/her power to try and make themselves look good while throwing their employees under the bus. Their attitude and behavior affects their employee’s performance creating fear, tension and a great deal of anger, often causing employees to leave.
Ugly managers leave a very unproductive environment that unfortunately gets overlooked in many companies. This costs costing thousands of dollars and unknown amounts of productivity lost as people spend time trying to cover their back and run for the hills to avoid this ugliness. Most importantly, they need to go.
What you can do
For those good or great managers in your organization, let them know how much you appreciate their attitude and what their teams accomplish. They are to be valued and cherished.
If you have a bad manager, they can be shown the way with some training and coaching if they are open to it. There is hope!
An ugly manger must go… their insecurity runs deep and will take a huge time investment that may not be worth the effort. Bad and ugly managers often cause projects and teams to fail, good employees to leave, sickness, mental health breakdown and cost corporations thousands of dollars.
Which kind of manager do you and your organization want working for you? It will make a difference in how employees engage and how well your organization functions. In this time of social media your organization’s reputation as a great or not so great place to work is out there for all to see. It may be costing you the chance to hire more good candidates.
Marcus Buckingham and Curt Coffman wrote, “People leave managers not companies. So much money has been thrown at the challenge of keeping good people – in the form of better pay, better perks and better training- when, in the end, turnover is mostly a manager issue.” (From the book, First Break All the Rules)