This is a guest post by Robert Conrad. He is a former Business student who graduated cum laude with a 3.91 GPA. Much of his leadership skills were earned through his time as a manager, trainer and mentor for at-risk youth. In his off-time, Robert enjoys hanging out with his family and playing video games.
Three Traits That Separate Good And Bad Leaders
Have you ever had a horrific boss? I believe that we have all worked a job with a less-than-stellar leader at the helm, and we all wish that they would either get fired or change for the better. However, not all of us can put an objective finger on where or why the disconnection is occurring. A great list of the main traits that describe an effective leader can be found here. When these qualities are not observed, there can be sad and sometimes hilarious repercussions. Three traits that separate good and bad leaders and are extremely important are discussed below.
Good Example: Joe openly communicates to his staff letting them know where they stand and how their contributions impact the company. Joe’s employees begin to exhibit his behaviors due to feeling valued and cared about. The employees know exactly how their contributions bring value and a sense of accountability is fostered.
Bad Example: Seth doesn’t enjoy his job nor trusts his employees. As a result, he only tells them what he thinks they “need to know.” His employees can feel this tension and don’t communicate their questions or concerns. Thus, employees don’t feel valued, bottle up their emotions, begin to hate their job and ultimately seek other employment. The company also begins to suffer the rigors of a high turnover rate and heightened training costs to fill the gaps.
Ability to Delegate
Good Example: After successfully building a foundation of trust with his employees, Joe knows that he can trust their decision-making skills in all situations. Joe can confidently assign tasks to his employees and know that they will follow the example that he had set forth.
Bad Example: Since Seth cannot trust his employees, he finds himself taking on too many tasks handed to him by his supervisor. Seth comes into work exhausted and frustrated, but he feels that it is necessary in order to maintain the company’s bottom line (ex. “this place will fall apart without me”). Seth feels that delegating tasks to his employees is a fruitless practice and will result in seemingly fatal mistakes.
Good Example: Joe is able to effectively communicate the company’s goals to his team and what needs to be done to achieve those goals. The vision that Joe crafts is clear and concise and allows his team to work towards those goals.
Bad Example: Seth is the embodiment of passive-aggressive behavior. As a result, he will ask his employees “why they did that,” and then follow-up with “was that a good approach” without providing the employee any positive coaching. Everyone leaves the interaction feeling dejected and unheard.
To compare Joe and Seth would be akin to comparing night and day. Where Joe is able to inspire others to change, Seth only succeeds in scaring away employees. So where does Joe sail ahead while Seth slogs through the muck? Let’s take a look.
Joe displays high emotional IQ. He is able to remain calm and resolute in his approach and lead by example. Seth, on the other hand, feels undervalued and is unable to trust anyone, including himself. Where Joe can confidently assign tasks to his employees and know that they will get it done properly, Seth is constantly embattled and takes on too much in his vain attempts to keep his company “afloat.”
The sad truth is that Seth is on a fast track to failure, and most of it is due to one term that has occurred throughout this article: trust. Seth’s lack of trust robs him of his ability to communicate honestly and effectively with his employees, and though he may feel that he is doing the right thing by shouldering all of the responsibilities handed down to him, it only serves to bog him down and leave his employees out in the cold.
Don’t be a “Seth” with your employees. They want to feel valued and that their contributions make a difference, so be more like “Joe” and show them that they matter.